A keen look at the infant hearing loss, in one year, test failed, born deaf, hearing loss cry, loud music and born blind
Infant hearing loss in one ear
Infant hearing loss is the condition of not being able to hear sound in one or even both ears. Infants might lose all their hearing or just part of it.
Although it is not very much common, some of the infants might have some hearing loss at birth. Hearing loss might as well develop in children who have experienced normal hearing when they were infants.
- The loss might happen in one or even both ears. It can be mild, severe, or even profound. Profound hearing loss is what is known as deafness.
- Sometimes, hearing loss can get worse over a period of time. Other times, it can stay stable and does not worsen.
Risk factors for the infant hearing loss are:
- Family history of the hearing loss
- Low birth weight
Hearing loss can happen when there is a big problem in outer or even the middle ear. These particular problems can slow or even prevent sound waves from passing through as required. They include:
- Birth defects which leads to changes in structure of ear canal or even the middle ear
- Buildup of the ear wax
- Buildup of fluid that is behind the eardrum
- Injury to or even the rupture of eardrum
- Objects stuck in ear canal
- Scar on eardrum from several infections
Another type of infant hearing loss is because of the problem of the inner ear. It can happen when the small hair cells which moves the sound through the ear is damaged. This hearing loss can be brought about by:
- Exposure to some toxic chemicals while in womb or after birth
- Genetic disorders
- Infections that the mother passes to the baby while still in the womb (like toxoplasmosis, or herpes)
- Infections that might damage the brain cells after birth, like having meningitis or measles
- Problems with structure of inner ear
Central infant hearing loss emanates from damage to auditory nerve by itself, or even the brain pathways which leads to the nerve. Central hearing loss is very rare in infants and also children.
Baby hearing test failed/ infant hearing loss test failed
The ear is usually complex and also made up of several parts, which includes the outer ear, the middle ear, the hearing (acoustic) nerve and also the auditory system (processes sound as it travels from ear to brain).
When these components work together as required, then a child can hear and then process the sounds of environment. Hearing loss can happen when any of the parts are not working properly. Hearing loss may affect a child’s ability to develop his speech, language as well as the social skills. But, with early intervention, infant hearing loss are much less likely to experience the challenges.
Hearing is very crucial to children as this is how they learn several ways to communicate. Babies usually start hearing sounds way before they are born. After birth, babies start to watch their parent’s faces and hear them when speaking.
The baby’s hearing system can then continue to develop every day. At three months old, babies are able to smile when they are spoken to, and at six months old they start to babble and imitate some sounds. If the baby cannot hear, this particular process of development will be much slowed down and thus can be detrimental to cognitive development of your baby.
Many hospitals do the newborn hearing screen just before the baby is discharged from hospital. To find out if the baby was screened contact the baby’s doctor – the results of screen will be in baby’s medical records. You may also contact the hospital which the baby was born at and then ask if a newborn hearing screen is regularly performed.
A family history of experiencing hearing loss does also put a newborn at a much higher risk of having an infant hearing loss. But just be rest assured, the baby’s hearing can be closely monitored so that if there is any problem, treatment starts as soon as possible.
In most of the states, hospitals give a newborn hearing screening before being discharged. If a screening isn’t performed then, or the baby is born at a birthing center, it’s crucial to get a newborn hearing screening within the first 3 weeks of birth.
A baby who doesn’t pass a hearing screening doesn’t necessarily mean he has a hearing loss. A retest to confirm the hearing loss is supposed to be done within the first 3 months of life, and if it does confirm that there is a problem, doctors should start treatment by the time the child is about 6 months old.
What causes infant hearing loss?
There are several reasons why a child might be born deaf or even become deaf early in life. It is not possible to identify the exact reason.
This particular section lists several of common reasons. There is information on the possible causes which happen just before a child is born and those ones which happen at birth or even afterwards.
Causes before birth (pre-natal causes)
Most of the children are born deaf due to a genetic reason. Deafness can be passed down in many families even though there is no family history of having deafness. Sometimes the gene which is involved might lead to additional disabilities or even health problems.
Deafness can also be brought about by complications that happen during pregnancy. Illnesses like the rubella, cytomegalovirus and herpes can lead to a child being born deaf. There is also a wide range of medicines, called the ototoxic drugs, which damages the hearing system of the baby before being birth.
Causes in infancy
As with the pre-natal causes there are several reasons why a child might become deaf after being born. Being born prematurely increases the risk infant hearing loss or even becoming deaf. Premature babies are normally more prone to several infections which can lead to deafness. They might also be born with the severe jaundice or a lack of oxygen at some point. Both of these can lead to deafness.
In early childhood there are several things which can be responsible for the child becoming deaf. Infections such as meningitis, measles and also mumps can lead to deafness. Ototoxic drugs, which are used to treat several other types of infections in the babies, can also be a cause.
Occasionally deafness is brought about by an injury to the head or even exposure to loud noise. These can might lead to damage to hearing system.
I think my baby is deaf
There can be at a higher risk for infant hearing loss if she:
- was born prematurely
- stayed in neonatal intensive care unit
- was given medications that causes hearing loss
- had complications at birth
- had frequent ear infections
- had infections like cytomegalovirus
Kids who appears to have normal hearing should continue to have hearing evaluated on regular basis at checkups throughout life. Hearing tests are done at ages 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, and at 18 years, and at other times if there’s any cause of concern.
If you have any concerns of infant hearing loss, ensure that you talk with your doctor.
Warning signs: Newborn to 3 months
- doesn’t startle in response to sudden loud sound
- doesn’t respond to sounds, or even voices
- isn’t soothed by the soft sounds
- doesn’t wake up at the sound of voices or even the nearby noises when they are sleeping in a quiet room
- by 2 months, doesn’t make any vowel sounds
- by 2 months, doesn’t become quiet at the sound of the familiar voices
Warning signs: 4 to 8 months
- doesn’t turn her head toward a sound
- doesn’t change expressions at sound of a voice or even a loud noise when in a quiet setting
- doesn’t seem to enjoy shaking a rattle or squeezing noisemakers
- by 6 months, doesn’t imitate sounds
- hasn’t begun to babble to herself or others who speak to her
- doesn’t respond to “no” and also changes in tone of voice
- seems to hear some of the sounds but not others
- seems to pay a lot of attention to the vibrating noises but not those that are only heard
Warning signs: 9 to 12 months
- doesn’t turn directly toward a soft noisemaker
- doesn’t respond to her name
- doesn’t vary his pitch when they are babbling
- Doesn’t make several different consonant sounds when babbling
- doesn’t respond to music by listening, bouncing
- at 1 year, doesn’t say single words
- at 1 year, doesn’t pronounce several consonant sounds at beginning of words
Do babies with hearing loss cry?
Although it’s challenge trying to tell how much the baby can hear, you might get a lot of information when you understand what to look for.
1. Talk to the audiologist about ways that the baby might respond to sound.
Your baby’s ability to respond to the sound depends on degree of hearing loss and effectiveness of hearing aids. Ask the audiologist to explain the sounds they think the baby might hear.
Your audiologist can assess your infant hearing loss using a Behavioral Observation Audiometry, which usually uses a range of different noisemakers. You can then observe some ways that the baby responds.
- Take note of what your baby does at homeDon’t do your own hearing tests. If the baby is overly active or even tired they might not respond to the sounds as you expect. This might be disheartening. If you’ve made the same sound many times your baby might have habituated and won’t then respond at all. It’s better to just be alert so that you observe the responses to sound that the baby naturally displays.
You can see the best hearing responses when it’s very quiet and the baby is not very fast asleep or when she is upset. You will probably see obvious responses when the baby is calm or even drifting off to sleep, or when there are some sudden loud noises. If the place is noisy it might be difficult to see some responses to certain sounds.
Baby hearing loss due to loud noise
Your infant might not be able to protect himself against harmful noises, so it’s up to you to ensure that she is safeguarded against damage to the delicate hearing.
Understanding what kind of noises can be harmful to the baby –which includes sounds from the loud toys can assist you to pinpoint noises which could be harmful to her. Because damage to infant’s hearing can cause permanent hearing loss, early intervention is very crucial.
Infants and Hearing
Infants are susceptible to the hearing damage from loud noises as their skulls are much thinner, according to Women’s and Children’s Health Network. Prolonged and sudden exposure to the loud noises can easily damage parts of inner ear –which is the area responsible for hearing like the outer hair cells, inner hair cells and also the nerves in inner ear. Damaging even one quarter of the cells can lead to infant hearing loss.
Safe levels varies according to duration of exposure. For instance, an adult using a loud hairdryer can damage her hearing over a period of time. Because the baby cannot tell you how much loud is loud, just use a general rule of thumb that the noises less than 80 decibels should not lead to infant hearing loss, according to Children’s Hearing Institute. This is an equivalent to noise in city street traffic. A normal conversation is just about 60 decibels.
- Hearing loss: http://www.babysfirsttest.org/newborn-screening/conditions/hearing-loss
- Causes of deafness: http://www.deafchildworldwide.info/childhood_deafness/causes_of.html
- Warning signs of a hearing problem in a baby: https://www.babycenter.com/0_warning-signs-of-a-hearing-problem-in-a-baby_6748.bc
- How can you tell when a baby hears sounds: http://www.aussiedeafkids.org.au/signs-of-hearing-in-babies.html
- Dangerous Noise Levels for Infants: http://www.livestrong.com/article/528530-dangerous-noise-levels-for-infants/
- Hearing loss – infants: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007322.htm