Hearing is a delicate element in a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Even the slightest hearing impairment can affect speech and language development. With Orlando ENT Hearing Center’s treatment, hearing loss in children can be overcome if caught early.

Hearing loss in children causes:

Ideally, a child’s hearing impairment is found by the time the child is three months old. This is why it is important to adhere to routine hearing screenings. It is detrimental to a child’s future to receive hearing screenings early and frequently.

Hearing loss is commonly a birth defect. Anywhere from one to three out of 1,000 babies are born with this defect. There are many causes of hearing loss. No cause is found half of the time.

Premature babies are known to have hearing impairment at birth. This is simply due to their shortened amount of time to develop in the womb. Likewise, if a premature newborn had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, odds are they’ll have hearing loss.

Jaundice in babies:

Many newborns have jaundice. About sixty percent of babies develop jaundice within a few days of birth. Not only can severe jaundice cause hearing loss, but it also causes damage to the brain if left untreated. Babies should get immediate medical attention if the whites of their eyes or skin appears yellow.

Newborns usually get better with two weeks of treatment or naturally get better. Jaundice is caused by a build up of the substance called bilirubin in the blood. Hearing loss is especially dangerous to newborns which require a blood transfusion due to high bilirubin levels.

More causes:

Similarly, children that have experienced complications during birth are at risk for hearing loss. As discussed before, there is a variety of medications that cause hearing loss. Hearing loss is hereditary, so children with family members that had childhood hearing loss will most likely have hearing loss.

During a child’s life, as well as adults, reoccurring ear infections cause irreversible damage to the ear. Thus causing hearing loss. Meningitis and cytomegalovirus are other infections that cause similar damage. Lastly, children are especially susceptible to develop hearing issues once exposed to loud noises or sounds.

Hearing evaluation:

Newborn hearing screenings identify children with hearing loss most of the time. In different cases, hearing loss may be caused by other factors. For example, hearing loss caused by infections, damaging noises, and traumas can show up later in life.

Research shows that the number of people who have hearing loss doubles between the time of birth and teenage years. Kids should have regular hearing screening for this reason. After being born, newborns should have a hearing screening before leaving the hospital, or by two days of age.

In every state and territory in the United States, there is an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program, or EHDI for short. The EHDI program identifies every child with permanent hearing loss before they are three months old. Then, it provides intervention services before six months of age.

It is important to bring a baby that was born at home or a birthing center to get this screening before three weeks old. Even if the child does not pass the first time, it does not mean they have permeant hearing loss. Often times, there is debris or fluid in the ear which interferes with the test. It is common to redo the test to confirm a diagnosis.

If a child does not pass the initial hearing test, there should be a retest within three months. It is crucial, so treatment can begin promptly. The treatment for hearing loss is most effective for children under six months old.

Children that have normal test results should continue to get their hearing evaluated at their regular pediatrician appointments. Testing is regularly done at four, five, six, eight, and ten years old. Additional testing is available in the presence of any concern.

Furthermore, if a child seems to have trouble hearing, further testing is necessary. Talk to a doctor if a child’s speech seems abnormal, there is difficulty improving in speech, or if it is difficult to understand the child’s speech.

Thank you for reading this week’s important blog. Early detection is crucial for treatment. Make an appointment with Orlando ENT Hearing Center today if you have any concerns for your child’s speech and hearing.

Staff Writer

Back to Blog

With 3 convenient locations across the Orlando area, we’re never far away.

Find your ENT Request Appointment
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at .