Identifying what caused your baby to have a hearing loss may provide important information on its treatment or management. This is particularly useful information considering that fifty percent of hearing loss in children is caused by heredity or genetic factors. It is important to note however, that causes of hearing loss in babies can be non-genetic factors that may not be known. In fifty percent of children with hearing loss, the causes of hearing loss remain unknown. In some children, genetic hearing loss occurs along with other medical conditions that may involve other organs such as the heart or the kidneys or the eyes. These are called Syndromes for which your baby will require additional assessments. For example,
The Jervell and Lange-Neilsen Syndrome: hearing loss and heart condition
Alport’s Syndrome: hearing loss and kidney involvement
Ushers Syndrome: hearing loss with progressive deterioration in vision
Identifying the causes of hearing loss in your baby helps predict whether your baby’s hearing loss will change over time and recommends how often it should be assessed and monitored. It further helps you understand whether other members of your family are at risk for hearing.
The different causes of hearing loss are classified by the point in time that they manifest Pre-natal factors occur before birth; peri-natal factors occur during the birthing process, while post-natal factors occur after birth. Some of these factors are listed below:
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