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Hearing management

Updated 11 December 2017

Deafness after mumps common

Japanese researchers say mumps-related hearing loss in children may be 20 times more common than previously suggested.

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Japanese researchers say mumps-related hearing loss in children may be 20 times more common than previously suggested.

"Deafness is a rare but important complication of mumps virus infection," the researchers note in a report in The Paediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

They determined the incidence of sudden hearing loss in children with mumps based upon a population-based office survey of more than 7 500 patients from 40 paediatric practices in Japan, a country where mumps is endemic (constantly present).

Among 7 400 children who took hearing tests after the onset of mumps, seven, or 0.1%, had confirmed hearing loss. Hearing loss in the seven children was confined to one ear but was "severe and did not improve over time," the researchers note.

What the researchers found
"We were surprised so many people get hearing loss after mumps," said Dr Hiromi Hashimoto, from Hashimoto Paediatric Clinic in Osaka, Japan.

None of the seven children with mumps-related hearing loss had been vaccinated against mumps.

"I'm afraid many Japanese people, including physicians, don't know about mumps deafness," Hashimoto said.

"Many Japanese people believe mumps is a slight illness if only caught in childhood. We want many people to have a proper understanding about mumps and the importance of vaccination."

In a commentary on the Hashimoto's report, Dr Stanley A. Plotkin from the University of Pennsylvania, Doylestown, highlights the lack of universal mumps vaccination in Japan.

The absence of vaccination against mumps is "surprising for a developed country," Plotkin wrote, "and this regrettable policy must be changed for the sake of Japanese childre.." - (Reuters Health, April 2009)

Read more:
MMR vaccine cleared again

 

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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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