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Indiana State Department of Health

Genomics Program Home > Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program > Risk Factors for Hearing Loss Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

What are some common risk factors associated with hearing loss?

A list of the most common risk factors associated with hearing loss is below. It is important for parents to know that not every child with risk factors has hearing loss. However, babies with one or more of these risk factors are more likely to have hearing loss.

  • Infections during pregnancy (such as cytomegalovirus, German measles, and toxoplasmosis)
  • Ototoxic medication during pregnancy (drugs that can harm the auditory (hearing) system)
  • Birth complications, which can include:
    • An infection at birth (such as cytomegalovirus, herpes, rubella, or toxoplasmosis)
    • Babies who need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit
    • Babies who weighed less than 3 pounds at birth
    • Babies who required a blood transfusion after birth
    • Babies who required drugs to help them breathe after birth
  • Unusual appearance of baby’s head, face, or ears
  • Certain conditions that are genetic (passed from parent to child)
    • For a list of genetic conditions associated with hearing loss, please click here.
  • A family history of hearing loss

If your baby passed his/her newborn hearing screen, but was found to have certain risk factors for hearing loss, he/she should be retested by a trained audiologist between 9 – 12 months of age.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s doctor.

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