Hearing Problems in Premature Babies: What You Need to Know

health problems in premature babies

Prematurely born babies are unfortunately prone to various health problems. Among the most common health problems in premature babies are the ones which affect the ears and the eyes.

There are babies who suffer from vision issues without any hearing problems, and vice versa. But some have health issues involving both vision and hearing. Some children may be born with physically abnormal ears, which can affect their hearing, too.

Hearing Problems

Hearing impairment in premature babies are usually the form of congenital hearing loss. It may affect both ears or just one, and it’ is characterized by some degree of complete or partial deafness.

These hearing problems are commonly triggered by genetic defects or the mother’s medical condition during pregnancy. Medical conditions that may impact your preemie’s health include toxoplasmosis, German measles, syphilis, or herpes.

Other hearing-related health problems in premature babies sometimes include ear abnormalities, such as malformations of the ear triggered by different sorts of chromosomal issues, skin tags, and shallow depressions around the ears.

The Treatment Plan

After all the test performed, your baby needs proper treatment. In some cases, he or she might require a cochlear implant in order to hear properly.

A cochlear implant is a tiny electronic device that substitutes for the damaged parts of the baby’s ear. It restores hearing by sending certain signals to the brain. But not all types of hearing loss can be alleviated by such a device.

Other treatment plans may or may not include learning sign language, mastering the skill of lip reading, different types of speech therapy, and other kinds of hearing aids.

The Outlook

It is very important to take your premature baby to all scheduled appointments with the pediatrician, as your preemie is much more likely to experience medical complications. The sooner your baby is diagnosed, the sooner you can move forward with a treatment plan. It’s not easy, but some miracles take extra care.