Supporting children with hearing loss
One to two babies in every 1,000 babies in the UK are born with permanent hearing loss in one or both ears. Most of these babies are born into families with no history of permanent hearing loss.
There are different types of hearing loss/deafness:
Conductive: a conductive hearing loss is where the sound can’t travel easily through your outer or middle ear. The most common form is ‘glue ear’ which is a fluctuating loss and is temporary. There are also permanent types of conductive loss, which occur when the outer or middle ear structures (for example the tiny bones in your ear call the malleus, incus and stapes) don’t develop as expected.
Sensori-neural: this is a hearing loss in the inner ear and is permanent. It usually means that the cochlea is not working effectively.
Mixed: when there is a conductive element (e.g. glue ear) as well as the sensori-neural deafness.
There are also different levels of hearing loss/deafness:
It can be mild, moderate, severe or profound.
It is possible to have the same level of deafness for all frequencies, or to have different hearing levels at different frequencies. For example, your child may have more difﬁculty hearing higher frequency sounds (e.g. s, f, th) than lower frequency sounds (e.g. oo, m).
Levels of deafness can increase and children can also develop a hearing loss later on (e.g. due to meningitis).