Your Genetics May Potentially Cause You To Be Prone To Hearing Problems

Hearing loss, also known as congenital deafness, is one of the most common of all birth defects. It is known to affect three in every 1,000 babies born. A large amount of this is due to genes. In fact, out of the deaf babies, 60% have this defect due to their genes. Additionally, it is believed that genes are behind hearing loss in the elderly, although no facts or figures currently exist. At the same time, it is important to understand that various other factors can be behind hearing loss as well. Other factors of influence include environmental issues, medication, illness and trauma. Hearing is always screened when a baby is born. If one or both parents have hearing issues themselves that aren’t caused by illness or their environment, their children will probably be tested more regularly. Unfortunately, since schools no longer offer standard hearing screening tests, more and more kids are slipping through the net. Hopefully, the following information will be able to shed some light on the different issues relating to hearing loss, which can be useful for parents and children alike.

There are two main distinctions within hearing impairments, which are the syndromic and non syndromic types. Around 70% of all people with genetic hearing loss have the non-syndromic type. Autosomal-recessive inheritance is responsible for 80% of the hearing loss within this group. Within the other 20%, hearing loss is mainly caused by autosomal-dominant genes, and a very small percentage by genetic malfunctions (mitochondrial or X-linked). Then, there are the syndromic people. This means the issue is caused by clinical abnormalities. Syndromic hearing loss is present in 15% to 30% of those who have a genetic hearing impairment. Interestingly, over 400 conditions and syndromes can be the cause of this. Because this is such a huge number, patients generally only learn about the one that is applicable to them.

Because each syndrome also has a range of different symptoms, they are usually expressed and exhibited in many different ways. Because every single symptom can be experienced in severity ranging from mild to severe, the possible combinations truly are endless. Indeed, even in people who have the same mutated gene, the symptoms can be experienced differently. In fact, a number of identical twins have been identified who experience the same symptoms in different ways. Due to this, a baby may be identified as having a congenital hearing defect, it won’t be known how this will affect them until much later. Sometimes, scientists now believe, these symptoms don’t even appear until the patient is elderly.

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