There are many degrees of hearing, from normal hearing to deafness. Many states mandate the testing of newborns before leaving the hospital. The risk factors for hearing loss in children include
- a family history of hearing loss,
- frequent ear infections,
- diagnosis of a learning disability,
- syndromes associated with hearing loss,
- speech delay, and
- infectious diseases that cause hearing loss.
Signs that a child may have hearing loss include
- the child not responding to his or her name,
- the child asking for words to be repeated, and
- the child not paying attention to what is being said.
If hearing loss is identified, a thorough search for its cause is then undertaken.