Detecting Hearing Loss in Newborns

Detecting Hearing Loss in Newborns

Did you know that 50-60% of hearing loss in babies is due to genetic causes? Or that 3 out of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with hearing loss in one or both ears? 

Learn more about how hearing loss can affect a newborn as well as what you can do to help your baby if you suspect he or she has problems with their hearing.

Newborn Screening Test 

Early detection is key when it comes to hearing loss. If left undiagnosed or untreated, this condition can result in many issues for a child including speech and language problems. Auditory problems may even prevent children from reaching their developmental milestones. 

The Newborn Hearing Screening is a safe and painless way for doctors to determine if your child has any auditory issues right after birth. This screening is key to making sure your child can hear correctly and allows doctors to determine how severe any hearing loss is so they can properly treat and care for the condition.

What to Do if You Suspect Your Child Can’t Hear

If your newborn fails the Newborn Hearing Screening, your doctor will suggest a more thorough follow-up screening or hearing test a few weeks after birth. If your baby still does not pass the test, your doctor may refer you to an audiologist who can determine if further treatment or care is needed.

Most hearing loss is detected right after birth, but sometimes auditory issues can be found later in a child’s life. Some signs that your child may not be hearing correctly include:

  • Does not react to loud sounds
  • Stops babbling, making sounds or talking
  • Does not look for the source of a sound or loud noise
  • Makes no progress in their speech or language development

If you suspect your child can’t hear, or if your child is missing any key developmental milestones, make sure to give your doctor a call.

Treating Hearing Loss in Children 

Depending on the severity and cause of your child’s hearing loss, there are several treatments that your doctor may consider including:

  • Medicine
  • Hearing aids
  • Surgery
  • Cochlear implants

Additionally, your doctor may refer you to a speech therapist who can work with your child so they can reach their language and speech developmental milestones.

University Health provides exceptional pediatric care for newborns, along with skilled specialists, such as audiologists, dedicated to fostering your child’s development and growth. 


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