When your child is born, they will almost certainly be screened for newborn hearing loss. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) screened over 98% of all newborns and found that almost 6,000 infants born that year had permanent hearing loss.
Genetics and Hearing Loss in Infants
Genetics are responsible for many cases of infant hearing loss. If caused by a genetic condition, hearing loss may be present at birth or develop as the child gets older. While some parents also have hearing issues, children born with genetic conditions that cause hearing loss may also have two normal hearing parents.
Genetic conditions that are associated with hearing loss include, but are not limited to:
- Turner syndrome
- Pendred syndrome
- Usher syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Crouzon syndrome
- Waardenburg syndrome
- Alport syndrome
Other Causes of Infant Hearing Loss
Apart from genetics, there are other potential factors that may cause or increase the risk of hearing loss in infants. Some of which include:
- Infections like cytomegalovirus (CMV) or rubella that occur during pregnancy
- Injuries during birth
- High blood pressure or prenatal diabetes during pregnancy
- Premature birth
- Infant not receiving enough oxygen (known as anoxia)
- Certain medications used to treat severe infection
Can Newborn Hearing Loss be Prevented?
While many cases of newborn hearing loss can’t be prevented, receiving good prenatal care and making sure parents are up to date on all vaccinations can decrease the risk in some cases.
How To Treat Hearing Loss in Babies
Most infants with hearing loss are treated with pediatric hearing aids, which they can begin wearing as early as a few months old. Depending on the severity of their hearing loss, cochlear implants or other devices may be recommended instead as your child gets older.
Treating hearing loss in infants as early as possible is essential in helping their language development, speech production and literacy as they grow.
Worried Your Baby Has Hearing Loss?
Some infants and small children don’t develop hearing loss until they are slightly older. If you notice that your baby isn’t making babbling noises, reacting to your voice, or startling at loud noises when you’re out at Joanne Land Playground, schedule an appointment to have their hearing checked.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child, call Tejas Hearing Aid Center today.