What causes hearing loss in children?
Hearing loss can vary greatly among children, and can have many causes. Hearing loss can happen at any time during life – from before birth to adulthood. Babies who are born early, who have low birth weight, or who are exposed to infections in the womb may develop a hearing loss. This can happen to full-term normal-weight babies as well. Genetic factors are the cause of hearing loss in about 50% of cases. Illness, injuries, certain medicines and loud noises can also cause a hearing loss in children (and adults).
Worldwide, about 5 out of every 1 000 children are born with a hearing loss. A further 3 in every 1 000 children will acquire hearing loss in early childhood. The degree of hearing loss can vary from mild (the child doesn’t hear as well as he should) to profound (the child does not hear anything at all).