Will my baby's development be delayed by a hearing problem?

Will my baby's development be delayed by a hearing problem?

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Without proper diagnosis and early intervention, hearing loss can affect speech and language development in young children. But just how much a hearing problem will impair your baby's development depends mainly on two factors: her age when the loss is identified and addressed and the severity of the loss.

The most important factor is the age at which your baby's hearing loss is diagnosed and treated. Research has shown that babies with permanent hearing loss who don't receive appropriate early intervention by 6 months of age will have delays in their communication development, whereas babies who do receive appropriate early intervention develop communication skills on par with their hearing peers.

The second factor is the severity of your child's hearing loss. There are temporary hearing losses and permanent hearing losses:

Temporary (or conductive) hearing loss is caused by fluid that has accumulated in the middle ear. Often this fluid can become infected, causing an ear infection (otitis media). But fluid can also accumulate in the ear and not result in an ear infection.

Babies and young children are more prone to fluid buildup in the ears because their eustachian tubes – which connect the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat – are short and horizontal. Fortunately, kids often outgrow ear infections, usually around age of 5 or 6, as their eustachian tubes lengthen and become more horizontal, making drainage easier.

Ear infections are very common in babies and young children and are generally treated with antibiotics. Before antibiotics came along, these infections caused permanent hearing loss by destroying the bones within the ears. Thanks to antibiotics, this no longer happens.

Antibiotics don't take the fluid out of the ears, but they do help destroy the bacteria there, which reduces pain and fever. Sometimes the fluid in the middle ear will drain while a child is being treated with antibiotics. But the fact that a child no longer has pain or an infection doesn't mean that the fluid has completely drained from the middle ear.

If fluid builds up, very small tubes may need to be surgically placed in your baby's ears to help with drainage. This procedure is done by making a very small incision and placing the "pressure equalizing tubes," as they're called, in the eardrum.

The tubes help to prevent fluid from building up again. They generally stay in the eardrum for six months to a year and usually fall out on their own. No second surgery is required to remove them.

Your baby may not hear words correctly if she has liquid in his ear. If you want to experience something similar, put your head under water in a pool or bathtub and have someone speak to you while your head is submerged. The speech will be garbled. As your baby learns to speak, she'll repeat words the same way that he hears them. That's why a child with hearing loss may mumble or have difficulty pronouncing some words.

Permanent hearing loss is caused by a problem with the hearing mechanisms and/or the auditory nerve. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as family genes, sickness, a syndrome, a disease, or medications.

Antibiotics and surgery usually aren't effective for kids with permanent hearing loss, but these children can often wear hearing aids. If hearing aids aren't the answer, they may benefit as early as 6 months of age from a cochlear implant – an electronic device consisting of electrodes that are inserted into the inner ear and an external device that picks up and processes sound.

Read more about:

hearing screening for babies

Read our expert's answer to this question: When should my baby's hearing be tested?

See our checklist of warning signs of a hearing problem in a baby.

Watch the video: Part 1: Your Child Failed Newborn Hearing Screening. Whats Next? (July 2022).


  1. Zulkimi

    Bravo, seems to me, is a brilliant phrase

  2. Gajind


  3. Kazrazahn

    I'm sorry, but I think you are making a mistake. I can prove it. Email me at PM, we'll talk.

Write a message

Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos