Articles | Hearing Loss

Babies at Risk of Developing Hearing Loss in Utero

Woman pregnant minding noise exposure.

According to experts, women who expose themselves to high decibel sounds, those measuring 85 decibels (a lawn mower) or higher, while pregnant can increase their child’s risk of developing hearing loss, among other health concerns.

“An unborn baby’s outer, inner, and middle parts of the ear are well developed after 24 weeks’ gestation and the baby can effectively transmit sounds to the brain for processing,” said Pooja Mehta, senior consultant gynecologist and obstetrician at Gurgaon-based Paras Hospital. “However, the exposure to sounds over 90 to 100 decibels can raise your unborn baby’s risk of hearing loss.”

Regular exposure to sounds measuring 85 decibels can lead to hearing damage in most individuals.

Exposure to very loud sounds can also affect other aspects of an infant’s health, such as premature birth and a low birth weight.

“If women do not take precautions and are exposed to high intensity noise, then there are chances there are pre-term deliveries and disruption in the normal growth and development of the premature infants,” said Vimal Grover, gynecologist and obstetrician at Fortis Healthcare.

Further studies to learn more about the effects of high decibel sounds on pregnancy are ongoing.

Additional Resources:

Exposure to loud sound during pregnancy linked to hearing loss in babies

Children who wear hearing devices early can develop better communication skills

Learn more about noise-induced hearing loss and other hearing health issues

Learn more about the anatomy of the ear

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