Nevada Doing Well on Infant Hearing Screening

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A new report lists Nevada among the top states for screening infants for hearing impairments.

Nevada is among 40 states to receive an "excellent" rating in the latest survey released Tuesday by the National Campaign for Hearing Health.

Last year, the state received only a "fair" rating from the Washington, D.C.-based group.

But the new report said Nevada is now screening 94-percent of all babies born for hearing problems.

A law passed by the 2001 Legislature requires most hospitals to perform hearing assessments on newborns unless the parents sign a waiver declining the tests.

Before the legislation was passed, Nevada ranked 48th in the nation for performing hearing screening tests on newborns.

Experts say early detection of hearing deficiencies is paramount to normal language and developmental skills.

Children diagnosed with mild to profound hearing loss after six months of age rarely catch up to their peers in school and often lag academically for the rest of their lives, according to the National Campaign for Hearing Health.