Misconceptions & Facts About Hearing Screening

Misconception vs Clinical Facts

  • Misconception: Parents will know if their child has a hearing loss by the time their child is 2 to 3 months of age.
    • Fact: Prior to universal screening, the average age of hearing loss was identified as 2 to 3 years. Children with mild to moderate hearing loss were often not identified until 4 years of age.
  • Misconception: Parents can identify hearing loss by clapping their hands or making loud sounds behind the child's head.
    • Fact: Children can compensate for hearing loss. They use visual cues, such as shadows or parental expressions and reactions, or they may feel the breeze caused by the motion of the hands.
  • Misconception: There is no rush to identify a hearing loss.
    • Fact: Children identified when they are older than six months can have speech and language delays. Children identified when they are younger than six months do not have delays and are equal to their hearing peers in terms of speech and language.
  • Misconception: Children younger than 12 months cannot be fit with hearing aids.
    • Fact: Children as young as one month of age can be fit and benefit from hearing aids.
  • Misconception: Tests are not reliable and cause too many infants to be referred to specialists.
    • Fact: Referral rates are as low as 5 to 7%.

Importance of Testing

Most babies can hear well at birth, but few do not. We test all babies to find the ones who may not be able to hear. Testing is the only way to know if your baby has hearing loss. It is important to find hearing loss as soon as possible. Babies whose hearing loss is not found early will have a hard time learning.