Information About Hearing Loss in Children for Health Professionals

What to know

  • Health professionals can use the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) 1-3-6 benchmarks to promote identification of children with hearing loss and timely referral to services.
  • Tools and resources on hearing loss are available to health professionals, including continuing education and state and territorial programs.

What health professionals can do

No later than 1 month of age

  • Ensure hearing screening process is complete for all newborns. Refer to your state protocol.
  • Review results and risk factors for late onset or progressive hearing loss with parent/guardian (see risk factors page).
  • Schedule audiologic diagnostic evaluation for all "Refers" ("Fail" and "Did Not Pass").

A repeat hearing screening is recommended before discharge for all infants who are readmitted to a hospital within the first month of life for conditions associated with potential hearing loss.

No later than 3 months of age

Note results of diagnostic audiologic evaluation for babies who do not pass the initial screen or re-screen and discuss results with parents.

If a diagnosis of hearing loss is confirmed:

  • Schedule an otolaryngology and ophthalmology exam;
  • Offer the family a referral for a genetics consultation;
  • Counsel parents about amplification options (hearing aids, cochlear implants) and communication options;
  • Provide medical clearance as appropriate;
  • Provide medical referrals as indicated, including neurology, developmental pediatrics, cardiology, and nephrology; and
  • Refer to Early Intervention (Part C).

No later than 6 months of age

  • Communicate with the family about ongoing audiology services.
  • Ensure child is enrolled in Early Intervention Services (Part C).
  • Provide family with information regarding communication options.
  • Communicate with the family and other service providers for continuity of care.

Conferences and meetings

Every year, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) National Conference brings together a wide variety of attendees including those who:

  • Work in state EHDI programs.
  • Assist in EHDI efforts on the federal level.
  • Provide screening, diagnostic and early intervention support at the national, state and local level to young children with hearing loss and their families.
  • Champion Medical Home activities within each state.
  • Are parents of children with hearing loss.
  • Are deaf or hard-of-hearing adults who are helping to expand opportunities for young children with hearing loss.

Past conferences

Visit the past conference pages to find an overview of the presentations, slide sets, and continuing education units (CEU).

State and territorial EHDI programs

The State and Territorial Profile includes information about all aspects of the EHDI process, such as program structure, screening and referral procedures, tracking and surveillance systems, and educational materials. A key objective of this resource is to assist states and territories in program planning and evaluation, and to inform parents, other government agencies, and providers about EHDI programs across the United States and its territories.