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UHL – The facts in brief

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A unilateral hearing loss (UHL) affects one ear only. The child can hear normally in one ear and has some difficulty hearing with the other ear. The hearing loss can range from a mild loss to a profound loss where the child hears very little with that ear.

Approximately one in 1000 children is born with UHL and this can be detected through a newborn hearing screening program. UHL, however, can occur throughout life and it is possible for a child to acquire a unilateral hearing loss anytime after birth.

The good news:

  • your baby can hear
  • your baby will speak, read and enjoy music
  • there is technology available that can improve your baby’s ability to hear and listen.

A child with unilateral hearing loss may have difficulty:

  • understanding speech in noisy environments
  • identifying where a sound is coming from
  • hearing when someone speaks on the affected side.

You need to keep in mind that:

  • unilateral hearing loss has the potential to have an impact on your baby’s learning, communication and socio-emotional development
  • some children with UHL may need assistance to develop age-appropriate speech and language
  • a small percentage of children with UHL will lose the hearing in their hearing ear.

With your love, support and commitment your child:

  • will attend mainstream school, make friends and play sport
  • can develop age-appropriate speech and language skills.

You can start today to help your baby achieve his or her language and learning milestones.

“Eventually you  realise that you have a child that can and will accomplish everything and more! You will see that with your determination and support they will get through their school years and out into our wonderful world.” (Parent)


Next: Roadmap for families – Laying the foundations




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