Hearing loss in children requires treatment at an early stage to avoid putting at risk the maturation of the auditory pathway and thus the acquisition of speech understanding. In a model study, our Department of Otorhinolaryngology has demonstrated how important it is that hearing screening be carried out immediately after birth to diagnose and treat potential hearing loss in newborns. Health insurance covers the costs of this quick test. Neonatal hearing screening has been a standard service of German healthcare since 2012.
However, neonatal hearing screening is only a snapshot in time. Many children develop hearing loss during the first few years of their life, and this remains undiscovered for too long. The babbling stage in toddlers provides no evidence of functional hearing because even congenitally deaf children start babbling in the first year of life.
We therefore recommend that all parents closely observe their child’s hearing.
Possible symptoms of hearing loss in children:
The child never gets startled at the sound of sudden loud noises.