What are the high-risk factors for hearing loss?

The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (1990) of the AmericanSpeech and Hearing Association has expanded the criteria used toidentify neonates and infants who may be at risk forsensorineural hearing impairment. If any of the following factorsare present, the child should be referred for a hearing test.

NEONATES (birth – 28 days)

  1. Family history of hearing loss.
  2. Congenital infection such as toxoplasmosis, syphilis, rubella, cytomegalovirus and herpes.
  3. Craniofacial anomalies.
  4. Birth weight less than 1500 grams.
  5. Hyperbilirubinemia.
  6. Ototoxic medications (e.g. aminoglycosides)
  7. Bacterial meningitis.
  8. Severe depression at birth, which may include infants with Apgar scores of 0-3 at five minutes.
  9. Prolonged mechanical ventilation for a duration equal to or greater than 10 days.
  10. Stigmata or other findings associated with a syndrome known to include sensorineural hearing loss (e.g. Usher’s syndrome).

INFANTS (29 days to two years)

  1. Parent or caregiver’s concern about hearing, speech, language or developmental delay or both.
  2. Bacterial meningitis.
  3. Neonatal risk factors that may be associated with progressive sensorineural hearing loss (e.g., cytomegalovirus).
  4. Head trauma.
  5. Stigmata or other findings associated with syndromes known to include sensorineural hearing loss.
  6. Ototoxic medications (e.g., aminoglycosides).
  7. Children with neurodegenerative disorders such as neurofibromatosis.
  8. Childhood infectious diseases known to be associated with sensorineural hearing loss (e.g., mumps).

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