Causes of Hearing Impairment in Children

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Causes of Hearing Impairment in Children

Has your child been diagnosed with a hearing impairment? We understand your need to learn more about hearing loss so that you can process what this means both for you and your child. 

After learning your child may have a hearing impairment, you naturally want to know what may have caused the issue. Hearing loss can be caused by several factors. Testing performed by a professional audiologist can assist in narrowing down the root cause and help determine a viable solution. Read on to see a brief list detailing possible causes of hearing loss in children.

Congenital Hearing Loss

Congenital hearing loss occurs prior to or during birth. Doctors believe many of these conditions are caused or inherited during development in utero. Certain illnesses contracted by the mother during pregnancy may cause complications. These include Rubella (German Measles), Cytomegalovirus, Syphilis, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. Also, the use of drugs or alcohol during pregnancy can cause hearing loss in infants.

Hearing loss may also stem from complications during delivery such as premature birth or from medical treatments given directly after delivery. For example, drugs used for life-sustaining respiratory measures in premature infants can cause hearing loss. 

Additional causes of congenital hearing loss may originate from genetic syndromes or disorders of the brain or nervous system. Some congenital disorders that have hearing loss associated with them are: Down syndrome, Usher syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, Crouzon syndrome, Alport syndrome, and Waardenburg syndrome. Additionally, one or both parents, even if they both hear fine, may carry hearing loss genes that present in their child. 

Acquired Hearing Loss

Hearing loss caused by disease or injury after birth is known as acquired hearing loss.

Hearing issues could stem from common childhood illnesses such as chickenpox, measles, meningitis, or frequent ear infections. Physical injuries such as head trauma or prolonged exposure to loud noises can also cause hearing loss. 

There are also medicines that are known to cause hearing loss, some permanently, and some temporarily. These are called ototoxic medications, and they include medicines that treat cancer, kidney issues, liver issues, and malaria. 

Witnessing your child experience hearing loss may leave you feeling helpless. But don’t give up hope. A caring audiologist can help diagnose your child and determine the best treatment for his/her hearing impairment. If you believe your child could be experiencing hearing loss and live in Memphis or the surrounding areas, please contact us immediately to schedule an appointment.