What are the Most Common Deafness Symptoms in Babies?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Deafness symptoms in babies usually begin to appear by six months of age. The age at which hearing loss symptoms in babies appears can vary, however, depending on the severity of the baby's impairment. About three out of every 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, which can be mild, moderate, severe or profound. Babies with hearing loss generally fail to respond to sounds. They may fail to startle at loud, sudden noises, or they may fail to recognize familiar voices, and they often fail to learn their own names. Babies with hearing impairment can experience developmental delays, and may have problems bonding emotionally with family members and peers.

Many parents of young babies notice deafness symptoms in the first few months of life. When hearing impairment is severe or profound, infants often don't respond to loud noises, and may not awaken to the types of sounds that would disturb a hearing baby's sleep. Hearing impaired babies may fail to recognize or respond to familiar voices, even their own mother's voice. Further deafness symptoms in infants can include a failure to exhibit curiosity about the sources of nearby sounds, or a lack of interest in toys that produce sound.


Babies with unimpaired or only mildly impaired hearing usually begin to babble, coo and produce other vocalizations beginning at about six weeks of age. Deafness symptoms in babies can include a failure to vocalize by six weeks to six months of age. Babies who don't suffer hearing impairment begin to speak, relatively clearly, in single words, by the age of 15 months, and should begin to make short sentences by the age of two years. One of the primary symptoms of deafness in babies is a failure to develop language and speech skills at the normal rate.

If left undiagnosed, hearing impairment can significantly delay a child's social, emotional, and cognitive development. Diagnosing and treating infant hearing impairments early in life is key to normal development for hearing impaired children. Babies who are diagnosed and treated before the age of six months often experience little to no delay in developing speech skills, and fewer problems bonding with family members and peers. Babies who receive an early diagnosis and treatment are also the least likely to suffer academic setbacks and developmental delays as they grow older. Babies and children who don't receive an early diagnosis and treatment for deafness symptoms can, however, experience significant language and other developmental delays, leading to behavioral, academic, and emotional problems later in life.


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Post 2

Your point is very true Rundocuri. The sooner parents get a diagnosis, the quicker they can try potential treatments and help their children adapt to hearing loss.

Post 1

There is a lot of good information in this article for parents who are trying to determine if their baby is experiencing signs of deafness. The bottom line is that if you are a parent that suspects a hearing problem in your child, get a diagnosis as soon as possible.

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