Some babies may develop hearing loss later in childhood. Causes of late onset or progressive hearing loss in children can include genetics, frequent ear infections, other infections like measles or meningitis, a head injury, exposure to damaging levels of loud noises, and secondhand smoke. Newborns who need an extended period of neonatal intensive care should consider additional testing later in infancy as they may be at an increased risk for hearing loss later.
Even if your baby passes the newborn hearing screening, you should still watch for possible signs of hearing loss as your child grows. Talk with your pediatrician if your child:
· Doesn't startle at loud noises by 1 month or turn toward sounds by 3-4 months of age.
· Doesn't notice you until they see you.
· Concentrates on vibrating noises more than other types of sounds.
· Doesn't seem to enjoy being read to.
· Is slow to begin talking, hard to understand, or doesn't say single words such as "dada" or "mama" by 12 to 15 months of age.
· Doesn't always respond when called, especially from another room.
· Seems to hear some sounds but not others. (Some hearing loss affects only high-pitched sounds; some children have hearing loss in only one ear.)
· Has trouble holding their head steady or is slow to sit or walk unsupported. (In some children with sensorineural hearing loss, the part of the inner ear that provides information about balance and movement of the head is also damaged.)
· Wants the TV volume louder than other members of the family.