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Congenital Hearing Disorders


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A congenital hearing disorder is a hearing problem your baby is born with. The hearing disorder can be caused by a genetic defect that’s passed down in families or non-genetic causes such as:

  • Birth injuries
  • Blood disorders
  • Lack of oxygen (anoxia)
  • Low birth weight
  • Maternal conditions, like infections, like rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia), or herpes simplex virus
  • Premature birth
  • Toxins, including drugs or alcohol consumed by the mother during pregnancy

Genetic conditions that can cause hearing loss include:

  • Alport syndrome: damages blood vessels in the kidneys and can cause hearing loss and eye problems
  • Crouzon syndrome: causes skull bones to fuse prematurely, preventing the head and face from growing normally
  • Down syndrome: causes mental and physical development delays
  • Treacher Collins syndrome: affects facial development, including the ears 
  • Usher syndrome: causes hearing and vision loss
  • Waardenburg syndrome: causes hearing loss and facial abnormalities 


Newborn Hearing Screening
In many cases, your child’s congenital hearing disorder will be diagnosed shortly after birth during a routine newborn hearing screening. Also, during the process of the newborn hearing screening, the tester will identify factors that can increase the risk of late onset hearing loss. Late onset hearing in children means hearing loss that becomes detectable after three to six months of age. Audiologists will schedule follow-up diagnostic appointments at appropriate time intervals to make sure that late onset hearing loss does not occur without being discovered quickly.

Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation
In some less-severe cases of hearing loss, your child’s hearing problem may not be discovered right away. If the pediatrician suspects your child has a hearing problem, your child’s doctor will recommend a diagnostic hearing evaluation.


Speech-Language Therapy
Working with a speech-language pathologist can help your child or teenager develop language skills.

Augmentative and Assistive Communication (AAC)
Your child’s audiologist may recommend using some type of augmentative and assistive communication (AAC) to help them express needs, thoughts, and emotions.

Hearing Aids
Wearing a hearing aid may help your child hear better. There are many types of hearing aids available, and your child’s audiologist can help you and your child explore options.

Why Choose UHealth?

Excellence in treating children’s hearing conditions. We’ve been recognized by Children’s Medical Services (CMS), a division within the Florida Department of Health, for excellence in newborn hearing screening and early identification of hearing loss in infants. We’ve also been recognized by the Federal Government as a part of a University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. This means that we maintain high standards of care in the diagnosis and intervention for the most complex hearing issues.

World-class health care for children. Children and their families come from all over the world to receive top-quality care from our compassionate team of pediatric specialists. Your child will receive personalized attention from doctors who are sought out for their expertise.

HealthySteps program helps children meet milestones. All our general pediatrics offices use the HealthySteps program to ensure that children are developing appropriately for their age — physically, emotionally, and psychologically. When there are issues or concerns, we work closely with patients and their families to connect them with support resources. We’re the only academic health center in South Florida with developmental and behavioral pediatric specialists on staff.

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