Some people are born with hearing loss, which is either hereditary (genetic) or caused during pregnancy or childbirth. Today, children are screened after birth, so any hearing loss is discovered in most cases. However, it can be difficult to notice congenital hearing loss if it is mild, only in one ear, or develops later in life. Older people may not have been screened, and may have been living with congenital hearing loss all of their lives.
Many forms of congenital hearing loss are genetic. People with these types of hearing loss inherit them from their parents. This transmission of genetic defects causes a loss of functionality in the hearing organs. Hearing loss from genetic defects can be present at birth or can develop later in life.
Most common causes of hereditary hearing loss:
Treacher Collins syndrome
About 1 in 4 cases of congenital hearing loss are non-genetic.
These are most often caused by illness or trauma before birth or during birth. Maternal exposure to different types of drugs and medications can also cause non-hereditary congenital hearing loss, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.
Most common causes of non-hereditary congenital hearing loss:
Maternal infections such as rubella/measles, cytomegalovirus, or herpes simplex virus
Low birth weight
Toxins consumed by the mother during pregnancy including drugs and alcohol
Complications associated with the Rhesus factor in the blood, which causes jaundice
Hearing loss can be difficult to recognise in infants and small children. However, early treatment and management of hearing loss is essential for language development, education, and a healthy social life. But it doesn't stop when we become adults; treating hearing loss is important to ensure continuing mental acuity and social inclusion for everyone.
Most types of hearing loss can be treated with hearing care, so at Hidden Hearing we have hearing aids for any type of hearing loss from mild to severe. Our focus is to help people hear better, so they can communicate, learn, and enjoy life.
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