loss is the most frequent
birth defect. It occurs in
about 3 out of every 1000 babies born in the U.S. each year.
Many babies with hearing loss will startle
or turn their heads to loud sounds.
This does not mean the baby has
normal hearing. Most babies with hearing loss can hear some sounds,
but not hear well enough to develop normal speech and language.
and years of a child’s life are
important for developing
communication. Children with
undetected hearing loss are more
likely to have difficulty developing language and may not do well in school. Even a mild hearing
loss or hearing loss in only one ear has negative
consequences if undetected. Before
the advent of newborn hearing screening, research showed that children with hearing loss in one ear were ten
times as likely to be held back
in school compared to
children with normal hearing.
is why it is important
to find out early if your baby has hearing loss. The only way
to know for sure if your
baby’s hearing is normal is to have his hearing retested with special equipment. If your
baby has hearing loss, he will have the best chance
for normal language development if he receives treatment
by six months of age.