Ear Nose & Throat Service (ENT)

Downs Syndrome and hearing loss

This page gives parents details about Down's Syndrome and hearing loss, and provides information about the BAHA bone conduction hearing solution.

The importance of hearingShow [+]Hide [-]

Children with Down's Syndrome face a greatly increased risk of auditory (hearing) system malformations, chronic ear infections and neural transmission problems that can cause hearing loss.

The degree of hearing loss in children with Down's Syndrome varies, but even mild cases can have serious consequences for their speech perception, language acquisition and social interaction.

Help is availableShow [+]Hide [-]

Narrow ear canals are a common condition with Down's Syndrome, and a particular concern is recurrent ear infections caused by fluid build-up in the middle ear.

Because the BAHA System never obstructs the ear canal, these discharges are allowed to dry properly, reducing the incidence of recurrent ear infections. There is no need for an ear mould that can be removed or lost, or could cause irritation and soreness to small ears.

With a BAHA System, your child gets a solution proven to work well in children with Down's Syndrome.

Early interventionShow [+]Hide [-]

BAHA solutions can be implemented early in life, helping children with Down's Syndrome to gain better access to hearing.

Treating the hearing loss early is vital to stimulate the cognitive development of children with Down's Syndrome, especially in the pre-school period. This is so important because language development is a cornerstone of the healthy and fulfilled life that all parents want for their children.

Hearing with a BAHA SystemShow [+]Hide [-]

The BAHA System makes use of the body’s natural ability to hear sound through vibrations.

To bypass the problems in the middle ear common to Down's Syndrome, BAHA sends sound through the bone directly to the functioning inner ear. In other words, it reroutes the sound – naturally.

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To find out how to gain better access to hearing you should contact your GP to arrange a referral to us.

You can also get more information from the Newcastle BAHA Centre.

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