Birth Facilities

What are the risk factors for late-onset and early childhood hearing loss?

Here is a list of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) 2007 Risk Indicators for Permanent Early Onset and Late Progressive Hearing Loss in Childhood:

 (* Indicates risk factors are of greater concern for delayed onset hearing loss:

  • Parent or caregiver concern* regarding hearing, speech, language or developmental delay.
  • Family history* of permanent childhood hearing loss.
  • Neonatal intensive care of >5 days, which may include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) assisted ventilation, exposure to ototoxic medications (gentamicin and tobramycin) or loop diuretics (furosemide/lasix), and hyperbilirubinemia requiring exchange transfusion.
  • In-utero infections such as cytomegalovirus*, herpes, rubella, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis.
  • Cranofacial anomalies, including those involving the pinna, ear cannal, ear tags, ear pits, and temporal bone anomalies.
  • Physical findings such as white forelock, associated with a syndrome known to include sensorineural or permanent conductive hearing loss.
  • Syndromes known to be associated with hearing loss or progressive or late onset hearing loss* such as neurofibromatosis, osteopetrosis, and Usher syndrome. Other frequently identified syndromes include Waardenburg, Alport, Pendred, and Jervell and Lange-Nielson.
  • Neurodegenerative disorders*, such as Hunter syndrome, or sensory motor neuropathies such as Friedreich's ataxia and Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome.
  • Culture positive postnatal infections associated with sensorineural hearing loss*, including bacterial and viral (especially herpes and varicella) meningitis.
  • Head trama, especially basal skull/temporal bone fracture* requiring hospitalization.
  • Chemotherapy.
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The Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program of the PA Department of Health (PA DOH) works with birth facilities to ensure that all newborns receive a hearing screening no later than 1 month of age. Birth facilities report newborns who did not pass their hearing screening or did not receive a newborn hearing screening to PA DOH for follow-up. Birth facilities also report newborn hearing screening results to the baby’s primary care physician for follow-up.

Find out more about the Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program

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