7 Signs of Hearing Loss for Your Baby

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Hearing, one of the primary 5 senses, is present as soon as the baby is born and develops along with the baby’s age. This sense is essential for your baby to recognize the voice, respond to the sound of your feet, learn speech, and maintain balance.

However, every 2 to 3 babies are born with hearing impairment in the USA, and even more become victims of acquired loss of hearing. This is why many states in the USA conduct screening tests for hearing.

You can also check the ear of the baby at home by using ear cameras like Bebird. Furthermore, if you are wondering how to know if your child has hearing loss, let us talk about 7 signs of hearing loss for the baby.

Part 1: 7 Signs of Hearing Loss for Baby

As a baby cannot tell himself that he has a problem with hearing, you have to keep an eye on signs signifying hearing loss.

Hearing Loss and Its Types

Hearing loss is defined as impairment of hearing caused by genetics, intranatal infections, birth injury, stay in NICU, and intake of certain drugs by the mother. There are mainly two types of hearing loss.

  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Here, there is damage to the nerve or inner ear.
  • Conductive Hearing Loss: The conduction pathway is abnormal in this type of hearing loss.

The treatment for both types of hearing loss is different. So, it is essential to determine which type of hearing loss your child is suffering from.

Signs of Hearing Loss

Here are 7 signs to recognize hearing loss in a child.

1. No Response to Sounds

One of the early signs of hearing loss in an infant is failure to respond to sound. A baby starts to locate the sound source by 3 to 4 months. Similarly, he is startled by loud sounds at an early age of 1 month.

If your baby is not showing any response to loud sounds or does not look at you when you call them, it shows that they have hearing loss.

2. Delay of Developmental Mile Stones in Speech and Language

Within 3 months of age, a baby is startled by loud sounds and makes cooing noises. Around 6 months of age, a baby enjoys calming music, looks in the direction of your voice, and makes bubbling or gargling sounds.

At 1 year of age, you can play peek-a-boo with the baby and he starts speaking small words like “mama”. The delay in these”developmental developmental milestones, according to age, indicates that your baby has trouble hearing.

3. Vague Speech

Babies learn to speak by hearing different sounds and recognizing them. Most children start speaking comprehensible language by the age of 2 years.

If your baby is speaking but you cannot understand the words they say, it is one of the signs of hearing loss in a 2-year-old child.

4. No Response When You Call

Babies begin to recognize sounds by the age of 4 months and can sense a change in the tone of their voice by 6 to 8 months. Therefore, they look towards you when they hear your voice and smile if you talk to them.

However, if your baby does not respond to your voice, it indicates that you should get them checked by an ENT specialist or pediatrician for impaired hearing.

5. Difficulty in Maintaining Balance

Our inner ear and the nerves are responsible for maintaining balance. It also helps the babies hold their heads. If there is damage or malformation of the cochlea or auditory nerve during birth or after that, a child cannot keep his head correctly and has difficulty sitting or walking.

These signs show sensorineural hearing loss.

6. Does Not Speak At All

While vague speech or incomprehensible sounds show impaired hearing or partial hearing loss, the inability to make sounds or speak is one of the signs of hearing loss in infants.

Furthermore, if your child has trouble making friends, shows behavioral problems, or cannot socialize, it can be one of the signs of hearing loss in a 7-year-old.

7. Apparent Malformation of the Ear Canal

At times, there is a malformation of the ear canal, a foreign body in the ear, or a blockage of the ear with excessive wax. These causes can result in conductive hearing loss.

You can use Bebird Note 5 Pro ear wax removal to look into the ear and asses the anatomy and function of the ear canal.

Part 2: Seeking Professional Evaluation

If you see any of the signs we mentioned above, you are advised to seek professional evaluation to get your child treated as early as possible.

History

Whether it is sensorineural or conductive hearing loss, the signs and symptoms of both are similar. So, the doctor will ask for the baby’s detailed birth and developmental history to determine the cause and type of hearing loss.

Clinical Examination

In clinical ear canal assessment, the doctor performs a thorough examination of the ear using an otoscope similar to an ear camera by Bebird. It allows the doctor to see malformation, foreign bodies, fluid in the ear, or eustachian tube blockage and treat that condition.

Screening Tests and Diagnostic Tests

Once the diagnosis of hearing loss by history and examination is made, further tests are done to evaluate the extent of hearing loss and to determine its probable treatment options.

So, here are some screening and diagnostic tests.

1. Behavioral Audiometry

Two types of audiometry are performed to screen hearing loss in children: behavioral  audiometrymetry and formal behavioral audiometry.

In the former, the relationship between frequency-specific audiometry levels and auditory stimuli is studied in children under the age of 1 year. The latter is used to determine hearing levels and physiology of eardrum in children of 3 to 6 years of age.

2. Auditory Brainstem Response

ABR is used to determine hearing loss in babies of 3 to 4 months of age. This test shows the brain’s response to the sound heard when abrain’sleeps.

3. Evoked Otoacoustic Emission

It is another test performed while the baby is sleeping. However, it measures the production of sound waves in the ear of the baby when an external sound is heard.

4. Pure Tone Audiometry

In older children, pure tone audiometry is a test of choice for measuring the hearing threshold. The doctor used earphones to stimulate the child’s inner ear and determine the intensity at which a child’s star is stimulated.

5. Tympanometry

Tympanometry is similar to pure tone audiometry. However, movement of the eardrum is observed in this test.

6. Play Audiometry

In children around 2 to 5 years old, play audiometry audiometry assesses hearing. In this test, different types of audiometry are played to stimulate a response in the child, which is then measured.

Conclusion

There is a direct relation between hearing and the development of the baby. Hearing allows the baby to recognize sounds, respond to voice, learn speech, and socialize. You see signs related to developmental milestones when hearing is impaired, as we discussed earlier.

Therefore, getting your child tests immediately is essential to treat their hearing loss and prevent the baby’s development delay.

Claire S. Allen
Claire S. Allen
Hi there! I'm Claire S. Allen, a vibrant Gemini who's as bold as my favorite color, red. I'm a fan of two cool things: strolling the streets in a red jacket and crafting articles that connect with readers. With my warm and friendly personality, Claire is sure to brighten up your day!
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