Ear, Nose and Throat - U.S.A.  (ENT USA) Childhood Hearing Loss
Childhood Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss in Children


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Hearing loss in the young is very tragic, it will greatly influence the education and development of the child.  Early detection is important if milestones of learning language are not be missed.  The goal is to diagnose a hearing loss and intervene before the child is 6 months of age.  The most common cause of childhood hearing loss is ear fluid.  This usually causes a mild hearing loss.  More severe losses can occur from inheritance, problems encountered at birth, serious infections or toxic medications.  Many States are now setting as a goal to screen 100% of all newborns.

Go to Who Is At Risk        

Go To Speech & Hearing Age Specific Behavior





Helen Keller:  Address before the section of Otolaryngology, British Medical Association Centenary Meeting.  London, July 27, 1932.  "I am just as deaf as I am blind.  The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than those of blindness.  Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus-the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of man." Helen Keller in Scotland  A Personal Record Written By Herself.  Methuen & Co. Ltd.  36 Essex Street W.C. London  Page 68.

"Deafness in the young is a much worse misfortune than blindness.....  It should not be forgotten that often the young deaf child has speech, and can be helped to preserve it by timely instruction; whereas, if years elapse before he is taught, the difficulties of teaching him are multiplied." Helen Keller in Scotland  A Personal Record Written By Herself.  Methuen & Co. Ltd.  36 Essex Street W.C. London Page 203-204. 

Children with a mild to moderately severe hearing loss in one ear may benefit from hearing aid placement and a hearing aid trial should be considered.    View Abstract

Who is At Risk

  • Family history of hearing loss.
  • Congenital infections such as toxoplasmosis, syphilis, rubella, cmv, and herpes.
  • Head & face abnormalities.
  • Birth weight less than 1500 grams or 3.3 lbs.
  • Hyperbilirubinemia at level to need exchange transfusion.
  • Bacterial meningitis (brain infection).
  • Ototoxic medications such as aminoglycosides (strong antibiotic).
  • Severe depression of Apgar scores.
  • Mechanical ventilation or intubation to aid in breathing.

Speech & Hearing Age Specific Behavior

  • 3-6 months    Child should respond to your voice or speech.  Does he react to your voice when he cannot see you?
  • 7-10 months   Should react when he hears, but cannot see, the dog barking, telephone ringing, footsteps, someone's voice, refrigerator opening, microwave ringing etc.
  • 11-15 months Can he point to or find familiar objects or people, when he is asked to?  Does he respond to different sounds differently?  Does he enjoy listening to music and other sounds and try to imitate them.
  • Most children by 12 months of age are starting to say single words.




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Kevin T Kavanagh,  All Rights Reserved

Page Last Updated 08/24/2023 
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