Common Myths versus Clinical Facts

Making decisions throughout the hearing screening process requires accurate information. Explore the common misconceptions surrounding hearing loss below.

Myth:  There is no rush to identify hearing loss - it can wait.

Fact:  Children identified with hearing loss after 6 months of age are more likely to have speech, language, and cognitive delays than children identified before 6 months.  Children identified early can avoid these delays through evidence-based early intervention programs.

Myth:  Hearing loss does not occur very often, so newborn hearing screening is not necessary.

Fact:  Hearing loss affects about 1 to 3 children per 1,000 births, and is considered to be one of the most common birth defects.

Myth:  Parents can tell if their child has a hearing loss by the time their child is 2-3 months old.

Fact:  Before newborn hearing screening, most children were not found to have a hearing loss until 2-3 years of age. Children with milder hearing loss weren't found until 4 years of age.

Myth:  Using hearing loss risk factor assessments will identify all children with hearing loss.

Fact:  As many as 50 percent of infants born with hearing loss have no known risk factors.

Myth:  Babies need to be sedated to complete ABR testing.

Fact:  Babies younger than 3 months can typically be tested without need for sedation.

Myth:  Children younger than 12 months cannot be fitted with hearing aids.

Fact:  Children as young as 1 month of age can now be fit with and benefit from hearing aids.

Myth:  If there is no family history of hearing loss, there is no need to have your baby screened.

Fact:  95 percent of babies born with hearing loss are born to parents with normal hearing.