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Anatomically, or structurally, the ear is fully developed when an infant is born. The inner ear starts to develop first followed by the middle ear and then the outer ear, the hearing nerve is also developed. But the nerve fibers and the hearing nerve are very rudimentary, they’re not fully developed at work. So basically babies are born with FULLY functioning ears ready to go and take in sounds. In fact they can start listening at already 18 weeks while pregnant, BUT to be clear, we’re not just looking at the ear when it comes to building those sensory skills; it’s the brain.
So the maturation of the nerve fibers in our hearing system, as well as the development of processing in our brain occurs with exposure to sound after an infant is born. It’s the exposure to sound that allows the maturation of that pathway, the neural development that ultimately leads to speech, language development, and also cognitive growth.
The early months of life the child should be able to respond or startle to loud sound. So you know, if a baby is asleep, and there is a loud, sudden sound, that should wake up the child. Four to six months of age, babies at this stage will start to, to turn to sound a little bit. They will also start to respond to pleasure or displeasure by creating sounds themselves so babies will start to giggle a little laugh that little The next age group, and probably around seven to 11 months or one year of age, you know, at this stage, we start to see early signs of what we call receptive language development. They may also start to indicate by gestures, like simple high fives and bye bye is so they’ll start to understand language more.
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What is CMV?
“Approximately 20% of infected infants will have birth defects that include neurodevelopmental disabilities such as hearing loss, vision impairment, varying degrees of learning disability and decreased muscle strength and coordination.”
CMV and Hearing Loss
“The earlier children with hearing loss start receiving services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential.”
New animal model offers insights into CMV-induced hearing loss
“Keiko Hirose, MD, professor of Otolaryngology and chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology has developed a mouse model of hearing loss associated with human CMV infection early in auditory development that faithfully recapitulates phenotypes of hearing loss associated with congenital HCMV infection.”
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