2019 Type and Severity Summary of Identified Cases of Hearing Loss

July 2021

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Total Cases of Permanent Hearing Loss (45 states and territories*): 5,621 Children

Data Source: 2019 CDC Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Hearing Screening & Follow-up Survey (HSFS)

Background: The CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities promotes the health of babies, children, and adults, with a focus on preventing birth defects and developmental disabilities and optimizing the health outcomes of those with disabilities. As part of these efforts the Center is actively involved in addressing the early identification of permanent hearing loss among newborns and infants. Hearing loss affects between 1 and 2 per 1,000 infants in the United States and when left undetected, it can delay a child’s speech and language, social, and emotional development.1  To ensure children with permanent hearing loss are identified as soon as possible, states and territories have implemented Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs. These EHDI programs work to ensure all infants are screened for hearing loss, ideally before 1 month of age, receive diagnostic audiologic evaluation (for those not passing the screening), ideally before 3 months of age, and enrolled in early intervention (for those identified with permanent hearing loss), ideally before 6 months of age2. The Hearing Screening & Follow-up Survey is a voluntary survey sent out annually by the CDC to each state and territorial EHDI program that requests non-estimated hearing screening, diagnostic, and intervention information on infants born in a specified calendar year (e.g., 2019). The survey helps to assess the progress of EHDI efforts to identify infants with permanent hearing loss across the United States. This summary highlights type and severity of permanent hearing loss for babies born between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. These data are based on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) classification system for hearing loss. The ASHA categories are as followed:

ASHA Categories
Degree of Hearing Loss Hearing loss range (dB HL)
Normal -10 to 15
Slight 16 to 25
Mild 26 to 40
Moderate 41 to 55
Moderately severe 56 to 70
Severe 71 to 90
Profound 91+

Number of Survey Respondents Who Provided Type and Severity Data: 52α (44 states, 7 territories, 1 district) AK, American Samoa, AZ, AR, CA, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, CT, DE, District of Columbia, FL,  Guam, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, Marshall Islands, MD, MA, MI, Micronesia, MN,  MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, Palau, PA, Puerto Rico, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY

1American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Effects of hearing loss on development. Available at: https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/effects-of-hearing-loss-on-developmentexternal icon.
Accessed April 8, 2021
2Year 2019 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs (2019). Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 4(2), 1-44. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/jehdi/vol4/iss2/1/external icon

2019 Type and Severity Summary of Identified Cases of Hearing Loss (By Ear):ASHA Classification
Total Number of Reported Infants with Hearing Loss, 2019 CDC EHDI HSFS 5,621 Children
BILATERAL (by Ear) UNILATERAL (by Ear) LATERALITY UNKNOWN (i.e., Unknown if case is a unilateral or bilateral loss)
RIGHT EAR LEFT EAR UNKNOWN EAR (degree of loss for each ear) RIGHT EAR LEFT EAR UNKNOWN EAR
Sensorineural Slight 44 42 0 0 9 7 0 0
Mild 498 522 0 0 85 98 0 4
Moderate 631 596 0 0 84 99 1 9
Moderately Severe 260 276 0 0 61 90 0 4
Severe 239 243 0 0 95 88 0 3
Profound 604 601 1 1 141 132 1 0
Unknown Severity 29 38 0 0 20 9 0 0
Conductive Slight 5 9 0 0 2 2 0 1
Mild 42 42 0 0 25 18 0 0
Moderate 67 58 0 0 101 52 0 1
Moderately Severe 70 60 0 0 128 87 0 1
Severe 29 28 0 0 27 17 0 0
Unknown Severity 24 21 0 0 77 34 0 2
Mixed Slight 2 0 0 0 3 2 0 0
Mild 19 29 0 0 2 8 0 0
Moderate 68 72 0 0 18 16 0 0
Moderately Severe 80 74 0 0 32 19 0 3
Severe 61 55 0 0 17 20 0 0
Profound 30 24 0 0 8 8 0 0
Unknown Severity 11 13 0 0 10 4 1 0
Type Unknown Slight 12 16 0 0 5 5 0 3
Mild 76 84 0 0 24 28 0 15
Moderate 58 64 0 0 15 20 0 16
Moderately Severe 31 26 0 0 16 10 0 8
Severe 31 21 0 0 15 15 0 5
Profound 20 27 0 0 5 11 0 8
Unknown Severity 67 64 0 0 24 16 1 28
Auditory Neuropathy Slight 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0
Mild 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0
Moderate 5 6 0 0 1 1 0 0
Moderately Severe 1 0 0 0 5 5 0 0
Severe 9 8 0 0 8 7 0 0
Profound 33 33 0 0 23 17 0 0
Unknown Severity 97 99 0 0 52 52 0 1
Totals by Ear 3,255 3,255 1 1 1,139 1,000 4 112
Totals by Child 3,255 1 1,139 1,000 4 112
Laterality Totals (by Child) 3,256 Bilateral Cases 2,143 Unilateral Cases
Total all Types and Severity (by Child) 5,511
Cases Resolved (i.e., hearing loss to no hearing loss) 110
Overall Total (by Child) 5,621

Summary of Type and Severity of Identified Cases of Hearing Loss in 2019

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