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Hearing loss is common in children with Down syndrome and can affect development.
Both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss can occur with Down syndrome.
Conductive hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss
Children with Down syndrome should have newborn hearing screening done, followed by a diagnostic Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test before 6 months of age.
If there are no hearing concerns, children with Down syndrome should then have regular hearing tests 1 time every year from age 18 months to 5 years.
If there are hearing concerns, your child will be referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (called an otolaryngologist or ENT). They will also have their hearing checked more often.
The majority of hearing loss associated with Down syndrome is conductive hearing loss. This is because of:
Talk with your doctor about the treatments that are available for your child’s conductive hearing loss. Some options may include:
If these treatments don’t resolve the hearing loss, talk with your audiologist about hearing aids or other assistive listening devices that make speech and sounds louder.
To help improve your child’s listening and understanding:
To see this information online and learn more, visit https://MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=custom.ab_hearing_loss_ds_child_inst.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: May 16, 2023
Author: Audiology Provincial Professional Practice, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.