Newborn hearing screening programs for congenital disorders and chronic diseases are expanding worldwide, and children are identified at the earliest possible stage. However, the practice is limited or absent in much of the developing world, such as Africa. Recent epidemiological studies show significant increase of hearing impairments in school-age children (around 20 in 100). Hearing disorders disturb the child’s perception of sound, as well as the development of speech which in consequence negatively affects the child relations in society. The early detection of hearing impairments in children enables the effective implementation of medical and rehabilitation procedures or preventive treatment. According to the guidelines of the European Scientific Consensus on Hearing, the detection and treatment of hearing disorders in early school-age children are of the highest importance. That idea was one of the priorities during Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the second half of 2011). The Institute team, in collaboration with numerous national centers, has laid the groundwork for screening programs and developed methods, procedures, and devices for carrying them out. In addition, the Institute was the coordinator and producer of many programs. Based on this, two screening models have been created—newborn and school-age children.
Part of the book: An Excursus into Hearing Loss