Can Hearing Loss in Infants Be Prevented?

It is not possible to prevent all cases of hearing loss in infants. However, there are a few things women who are planning to become pregnant should do:

  • Make sure they are current on all vaccinations.
  • Check with their doctor before taking any medications.
  • If pregnant, she should avoid certain activities (like handling cat litter) that can expose the fetus to dangerous infections such as toxoplasmosis.
  • If there is a family history of hearing loss on either the mother’s or the father’s side, the parents may want to obtain genetic counseling before becoming pregnant.
  • Most women do not know their CMV status (i.e. if they have had cytomegalovirus infection in the past). If a woman knows she is CMV negative (i.e. has had a blood test showing she has never had CMV infection), she can reduce her risk by limiting exposure to secretions from others, especially young children such as those from changing diapers, sharing eating utensils/glasses/food, kissing on the mouth and exposure to tears. Frequent hand washing in all settings and safe sexual practices can reduce exposure as well.
  • Early and consistent prenatal care will reduce the risk of prematurity which causes some cases of hearing loss.

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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 
Causes of Hearing Loss in Children

Center for Disease Control

What Causes Hearing Loss? Can It Be Prevented?

My Baby’s Hearing
Causes of Hearing Loss