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Hearing Loss

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Read this section to learn what hearing loss is and what causes it.

Hearing loss has been called an "invisible" disability.


  • You can't tell someone is deaf just by looking at him.
  • Hearing loss often doesn't cause physical pain.

But hearing loss can greatly affect your child's life.

Here are some facts on hearing loss:

  • About 1 out of 1,000 babies born is born with a hearing loss.
  • You can start having hearing loss any time during your life.
  • In this country, about 1 million children younger than 18 have a permanent hearing loss.
  • Many more people develop hearing loss later in life.

Want to hear what hearing loss "sounds" like? Listen to these recordings on the "On-line Hearing Loss Simulation" page.

Read these sections to learn what hearing loss is, and what can cause it:

Signs of Hearing Loss
As a parent, you'll probably be the first to notice if something's wrong.
Read our timeline of normal hearing and talking.
Check to see if your baby might have a problem.

Types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss? Progressive hearing loss? What do all these words mean? In this section we explain the different kinds of hearing loss.

Causes of Hearing Loss
Learn what the common causes of deafness are.

Genetics of Hearing Loss
Like blue eyes and freckles, deafness can be passed down through the family. Read this section to find out how genetics may affect your children's hearing.

Can My Child Hear?
From newborn hearing screening to OAEs, we tell you about the different ways to test hearing.

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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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