Is My Baby's Hearing Normal?
If your newborn child:
He or she may have some degree of hearing loss.
More than three million American children have a hearing loss. An estimated 1.3 million of these children are under three years of age. Parents and grandparents are usually the first to discover hearing loss in a baby, because they spend the most time with them. If at any time you suspect your baby has a hearing loss, discuss it with your doctor. He or she may recommend evaluation by an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon (ear, nose and throat specialist).
Hearing loss can be temporary, caused by earwax or middle ear infections. Many children with temporary hearing loss can have their hearing restored through medical treatment or minor surgery.
However, some children have sensorineural hearing loss (sometimes
called nerve deafness), which is permanent. Most of these children have
some usable hearing, and children as young as three months of age can be
fitted with hearing aids. Early diagnosis, early fitting of hearing or
other prosthetic aids, and an early start on special education programs
can help maximize a child's existing hearing. This means your child will
get a head start on speech and language development.
For more information on hearing, go to our Hearing Health Links