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Hearing management

Updated 11 December 2017

Common causes of hearing loss in children

In most cases permanent deafness is hereditary. Take a look at some of the other most common causes of hearing loss in children.

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These are the most common causes of hearing loss in children:

- In most cases permanent deafness is hereditary. A third of people who are deaf for genetic reasons were born deaf, a third become deaf during childhood and the other third become deaf as adults. Permanent hearing loss among children is the most common congenital disability - in developing countries this is up to five in every 1 000 babies.

- Inflammation of the middle ear (tympanitis) is the most common cause of a type of deafness known as conductive deafness. Regular ear infections can cause permanent hearing loss among children.

- German measles during pregnancy can cause permanent deafness. If a pregnant woman contracts German measles during the first eight weeks of pregnancy there is an 86 per cent chance her baby will be deaf.

- Other problems during pregnancy that can also result in deafness in the unborn baby include infection with the cytomegalo virus, Rhesus-irreconcilable blood between mother and baby, thyroid problems and diabetes in the mother.

- Permanent deafness can result if the baby suffers from a lack of oxygen during birth or has to be connected to a respirator for more than five days.

- Another risk factor is if the baby weighs less than 1,5 kg at birth.

- Injuries during birth (especially head injuries) and jaundice in babies can also be a cause.

- So can viral and bacterial infections such as meningitis in babies and toddlers.

- Certain medicines such as some antibiotics and TB drugs can also cause deafness.

(This is an extract of an article that originally appeared in YOU Pulse / Huisgenoot-POLS magazine, September 2007. Buy the latest copy, on newsstands now, for more fascinating stories from the world of health and wellness.)

 

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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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