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Permanent Hearing Loss Screening

Hearing screening

The Ontario Infant Hearing Program (IHP) offers hearing screening for all newborns in hospitals and community settings. Hearing screening finds babies who are at high risk for hearing loss and should have more in-depth testing. Children with hearing loss may hear some sounds but miss others, making it harder to learn speech and language. This can lead to behavioral and learning problems. Interventions, supports and services are available for babies with permanent hearing loss to help them achieve the best possible outcomes.

Finding babies at risk

The IHP offers monitoring for hearing loss for babies with certain risk factors, including the following. 

  • Risk factors recognized at the time of hearing screening. 
  • Risk factors recognized through screening the dried blood spot sample collected for routine newborn screening.
    • This screening is done by Newborn Screening Ontario and is only available to babies who participate in hearing screening. The risk factors screened include congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) and some common genetic causes of hearing loss. 

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