Many cases of hearing loss are the results of genetics. More than half of congenital deafness, or acquired hearing loss in children, can be attributed to some kind of genetic condition. Environmental causes of hearing loss in the elderly include medication side effects, chemical exposure, and loud noises.
Genetic Hearing Loss: What You Need to Know About It
If you or someone you love has complained about gradually losing their hearing, and you know that many of your other family members had suffered from the same fate, hearing loss may run in your family. This blog post will focus on genetic hearing loss and the pertinent information that surrounds it.
Genetic Causes of Hearing Loss
Genetic hearing loss can be caused by many different conditions. The most common conditions that cause genetic hearing loss include:
Single Gene Disorders: This form of hearing loss is caused by a defect in a single gene that is responsible for the production of a specific protein. These specific proteins are an integral part of the auditory sensory process. Some examples include:
Hereditary Non-Syndromic Deafness: This type of hearing loss is caused by a mutation in a single gene and is usually passed on to a child by a parent. This is also known as an autosomal recessive condition. An example of this condition is pigmentary degeneration of the retina, which causes a child to have hearing loss as well as loss of vision.
Hereditary Dsytndromic Deafness: This type of hearing loss is caused by a defect in a single gene that is inherited from a parent. An example of a genetic disorder that causes hearing loss is Usher syndrome, which is characterized by the loss of vision and hearing.
Mitochondrial Inheritance: A mitochondrial mutation caused by a defect inherited from a mother or a father will cause hearing impairment. In most cases, it is passed onto a child from a mother. When a child inherits mutated mitochondria from a father, it will cause a condition called the Kearns-Sayre syndrome.
Inherited from a Parent: This type of hearing loss is inherited from a parent and is usually passed on to a child at birth. An example of this type of hearing loss is the autosomal dominant inheritance, which causes a child to have a hearing impairment.
Multifactorial Inheritance: This type of hearing loss is caused by several genes that are responsible for the sensory process. When these genes are not functioning properly, it will cause hearing loss, but the hearing loss is not as severe as other types of genetic hearing loss.
Identifying Genetic Hearing Loss
In order to determine if a child has a hearing loss from a genetic condition, you should consult with a specialist in audiologists. This professional will perform a hearing examination and a screening test to assess a child’s hearing. A hearing loss can be a result of a genetic condition, but it may also be a result of a non-genetic cause. This means that both hearing loss and genetic hearing loss can have the same symptoms.
Not knowing what type of hearing loss your child suffers from can cause a great deal of concern for any parent. If you are concerned that your child may have a genetic condition causing their hearing loss, it is best to consult with an audiologist to have your child screened. This is the best way to ensure that your child gets the help that they need to live a healthy life.
Get the most trusted hearing care specialists on your side by coming to Hear More Associates today! We care for patients throughout Lexington and Greater Boston, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Visit our hearing clinic and get the tests you need!