Talk to Your Doctor

A 4- to 6-month-old baby with normal hearing development will follow sounds with his or her eyes. If you think your child may have a hearing problem, here are some things that your doctor might ask you about:

  • Do others in the family, including brothers or sisters, have a hearing problem?
  • Did the child’s mother have medical problems in pregnancy or delivery (experienced a serious illness or injury or needed drugs or medications)?
  • Was the child born early?
  • How much did the child weigh at birth?
  • Did the child have physical problems at birth?
  • Does the child rub or pull on his or her ear(s) often?
  • Has the child ever had scarlet fever?
  • Has the child ever had meningitis?
  • How many ear infections has the child had in the past year?
  • How often does the child have colds, allergic symptoms, or ear infections?


Some words the doctor may use are:

Audiogram: a chart that shows how well you can hear. 

Audiologist: a person who tests and measures hearing.

Earache: pain deep inside the ear.

Listening and Spoken Language Specialist: Licensed speech-language pathologists, audiologists, or educators of the deaf who have become specialists in supporting children who are deaf or hard of hearing develop spoken language and literacy primarily through listening.

Otitis media: middle ear infection.

Otolaryngologist: a doctor who treats diseases and problems of the ear, nose, and throat.

Otologist: a doctor who treats diseases of the ear.

Pediatrician: a doctor who takes care of infants and children and who treats their diseases.

Speech-language pathologist: a health professional trained to evaluate and treat people with speech or language disorders.