Hearing Loss in Babies

Hearing Loss in Babies

A newborn baby sleeping, wrapped in a blanket.

Before your newborn leaves the
hospital or birthing center, he or she needs to have a hearing test. This is a painless
short test. It will be explained to you before it is done. You should get the test
before you take your baby home. 

Most babies can hear normally. But 1
to 3 out of every 1,000 babies are born with some level of hearing loss. Without screening
or testing, hearing loss may not be noticed until the baby is more than 1 year old.
hearing loss is not found until later years, the brain’s hearing centers won’t be
stimulated. This can affect a child’s hearing development. It can also delay speech
language. Social and emotional development and success in school may also be affected.
hearing loss complications can be prevented with diagnosis and treatment before 6

Most hearing loss is present at birth
(congenital). But some babies develop hearing loss after they are born. Hearing loss
more likely to occur in babies who:

  • Are premature
  • Have respiratory problems and used breathing machines for a long
  • Had past infections
  • Are taking certain medicines

Because of these risks, experts
recommend that all newborn babies be screened for hearing loss. Most often, parents
are the
first to find hearing loss in their child.