Hearing Loss in Children

What Is It?

A child with hearing loss has trouble hearing sounds in the range of normal speech. Hearing loss can be present at birth or can develop later in life. Babies born with other serious medical problems are at higher risk for hearing loss. Most deaf children are born to hearing parents. But the condition can be inherited.

Hearing loss often is not detected until a child is 2, 3 or even 4 years old. The critical period for language development is from birth to age 3. The failure to identify and treat hearing loss by 6 months of age can have serious implications for a child's speech.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »