My Baby Failed a Hearing Test in One Ear - What Should I Do?
It’s never too early to have your child’s hearing tested. CCHAT’s ever-growing Newborn Hearing Diagnostic Program aims to provide critical hearing tests and rescreenings for newborns in the region. Early diagnosis is a critical component of long-term success, and CCHAT has an entire curriculum designed to help your child overcome their hearing challenges and matriculate into a mainstream school.
But what happens if you discover that your baby has hearing loss in just one ear?
- Do newborns with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) need treatment?
- Is a single hearing aid a suitable solution for your young infant?
- Will their speech and language skills develop naturally over time?
In this post, we’ll answer these questions. We’ll also look at the most effective treatment solutions for UHL.
Unilateral Hearing Loss Among Babies
Unilateral hearing loss is actually quite common, with an estimated 1/1000 newborns identified with this condition at birth. By the time they’re school-aged, roughly 3 in 100 children will have lost some or all of their hearing in just one ear.
If all of the hearing in the affected ear is lost, it is often referred to as “single-sided deafness” (SDD).
Left untreated, unilateral hearing loss can negatively impact critical communication and learning skills. Some of the more common developmental challenges include:
- Delays in speech and language capabilities.
- Difficulties learning new languages (e.g. psycholinguistic dysfunction).
- Stunted social or emotional maturity.
- Behavioral and academic disabilities.
Collectively, these impediments can hamper your child’s overall quality of life – both in the short and long-term.
This is why early intervention is so crucial.
With the right treatment, it’s possible to improve your newborn’s ability to hear and communicate. This can help your baby lead a productive and happy life among his or her hearing peers.
Treating Unilateral Hearing Loss for Babies
At CCHAT, our UHL treatment approach starts with a diagnostic evaluation to determine the type and extent of your baby’s hearing loss. CCHAT offers an extensive list of hearing tests and knows the best way to properly evaluate your child’s hearing. Your newborn does not have to be currently enrolled at CCHAT to qualify for these hearing tests.
Based on our findings, we may recommend a hearing aid, as even newborn babies can be fitted with assistive hearing devices.
We might also recommend speech language pathology (SLP) services to ensure that your child’s communication development stays on course. In addition to pediatric audiologists, we also have speech language pathologists on site.
Whether your baby is enrolled or not, we can help coordinate your child’s hearing needs with the health care professionals of your choice.
For enrolled families we also provide parent support workshops and our special Baby & Me program.
Have Your Baby’s Hearing Tested Today
Infant hearing loss is considered a "neurodevelopmental emergency" due to the limited time the brain has to make auditory neural connections. If you suspect that your newborn is affected by unilateral hearing loss, it’s best not to delay. Proper diagnosis is essential as it leads to early intervention for children with hearing loss.
To have our on-site audiologists test your baby’s hearing at CCHAT, schedule a diagnostic exam with us today.