Hearing Loss or Varying Hearing Levels



Hearing loss or varying hearing levels can affect a child’s ability to develop speech, language, and social skills. Individuals with hearing loss who receive early intervention treatment will likely reach their full potential. This condition can occur when any part of the ear — outer, middle, and inner ear, hearing nerve, and auditory system — is not working as it should. The signs of this condition are different for each baby. If concerned a baby might have varying hearing levels, ask the baby’s pediatrician for a hearing screening as soon as possible.

Even if a baby has passed a hearing screening, be aware of the following signs of impaired hearing:

  • Does not startle at loud noises.
  • Does not turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age.
  • Does not say single words, such as “dada” or “mama” by 1 year of age.
  • Reacts to sigh, not sound. This behavior sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but it could be because of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Seems to hear some sounds but not others.
Condition Type:

Core Conditions


Approximately, one to 3 of every 1,000 babies are born with some degree of hearing loss.

More Information for Parents:
Also known as:

Core Conditions