Hearing Loss in Children

Hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop speech, language, and social skills. Hearing loss can happen when any part of the ear is not working. Hearing loss may occur due to medical conditions involving the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, hearing (acoustic) nerve, and auditory system.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Babies

Symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child but may include: 

  • Little or no reaction to loud noises
  • Not facing the sound source after six months of age
  • Does not say “dada” or “mama” by 12 months 
  • Faces others by visual recognition but not by sound or the use of their name
  • Hears some sounds but not others (high pitch or low pitch sounds)

Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Children

  • Delayed speech or delayed speech development for their age
  • Speech is not clear
  • Does not follow directions or understand simple directions 
  • Often says, “Huh?”
  • Uses the TV, radio, or electronic devices with the volume up too high TV volume up too high
  • Difficulty hearing some sounds (high pitch or low pitch sounds)

Screening and Diagnosis

Hearing screening can tell if a child might have hearing loss. Tests are easy, not painful, and only take a few minutes.

Hearing Tests for Babies

Newborn babies should have their hearing tested while still in the hospital. Babies should have a hearing screening no later than one month of age. If the baby fails these tests, it’s imperative to get a full hearing test with a Pediatric Audiologist as soon as possible.

Hearing Tests for Children

Children should have their hearing tested before they enter school or any time there is a concern about the child’s hearing. Children who do not pass the hearing screening need to get a full hearing test as soon as possible.