Daily Health Headlines

Virus Present at Birth Causes More Than 10 Percent of Hearing-Loss Cases in Kids

👤by Steven Reinberg 0 comments 🕔Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than 10 percent of babies born with an infection called cytomegalovirus will suffer permanent hearing loss, a new study reports.

But only one in 10 children with the virus shows symptoms, and screening is not routine, said study lead researcher Dr. Julie Goderis, of University Hospital Ghent in Belgium.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common non-inherited cause of hearing loss in children, responsible in 10 percent to 20 percent of cases, the researchers noted.

"Until a vaccine becomes available, behavioral and educational interventions are the most effective strategy to prevent mothers from being infected with CMV," she said.

Previous research has shown that mothers usually get the virus from toddlers. Once infected, she can pass the infection to the fetus, the researchers said.

"Following-up a child's hearing until the age of 6 years is essential to detect delayed onset or progressive hearing loss from CMV," said Goderis. "We know that, especially in this group, delayed hearing loss can occur."

To identify how widespread the virus is in children, and to determine its toll on hearing, the researchers culled data from 37 previously published studies. Their report was published online Oct. 27 in the journal Pediatrics.

The virus strikes less than 1 percent of newborns -- about 0.58 percent -- in developed countries, the investigators found. And about 12.6 percent of infected kids will suffer severe, permanent hearing loss, the research showed.

Among kids who show virus symptoms, one in three children suffers hearing loss, compared to one of 10 who doesn't have symptoms, the study authors said.

For symptomatic children, hearing loss will affect both ears. Children without symptoms usually suffer hearing loss in one ear, Goderis said.

Hearing loss from CMV, which is severe to total, can develop over time and vary as it progresses, she explained.

To date, there is no cure for the virus. But there is limited treatment with antiviral drugs, said Dr. Darius Kohan, director of otology/neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital in New York City.

Kohan thinks that screening babies for the virus should be routine. "If we would screen newborns for CMV, it would save a lot of headaches down the road," he said.

Dr. Sandeep Dave, from the division of pediatric otolaryngology at Miami Children's Hospital in Florida, favors hearing tests. "Every newborn should get a hearing test before leaving the hospital and every year after until at least 6 years of age," Dave said.

Kids with hearing loss from CMV will need hearing aids. If the hearing loss is complete, then a cochlear implant can be considered, he said.

First identified in 1964, cytomegalovirus can cause brain damage and vision problems in addition to hearing loss, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cytomegalovirus is related to the viruses that cause chickenpox and mononucleosis. By age 40, between 50 percent and 80 percent of adults in the United States have had a cytomegalovirus infection, and the virus stays in the body for life, U.S. health officials say. But a small percentage of women develop the virus in pregnancy, creating problems for some of their offspring.

Babies born with virus symptoms may have: yellow skin and eyes, purple skin splotches or a rash, low birth weight, an enlarged spleen, enlarged and poorly functioning liver, pneumonia and seizures, the CDC added.

Article Credits / Source

Steven Reinberg / HealthDay

Steven Reinberg wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Julie Goderis, M.D., department of otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium; Darius Kohan M.D., director, otology/neurotology, Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, New York City; Sandeep Dave, M.D., division of pediatric otolaryngology, Miami Children's Hospital, Miami, Fla.; November 2014, Pediatrics

View More Articles From Steven Reinberg 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Hearing Articles

Study Suggests Genetic Link to Middle Ear Infections

Study Suggests Genetic Link to Middle Ear Infections0

FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've found a potential genetic link to a child's higher risk of middle ear infections. These painful infections are the most frequent reason kids are given antibiotics, according to ...

New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss

New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss0

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- When background noise makes it hard to carry on a conversation, many older people chalk it up to hearing loss. But a new, small study finds that the problem may not just be in your ear, but also in your ...

Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer's Ear0

Ear pain can be caused by conditions within the ear, the ear canal, or it may affect visible portions of the ear. Infections of the ear include infections of the middle ear (otitis media), outer ear (swimmer's ear or otitis externa). An earache also ...

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss0

Everyone. No matter how old or young you are, too much exposure to loud noise can permanently damage your hearing. Whether it's the screech of a chain saw, the sudden blast of a hunting rifle, or the roar of a lawn mower, exposure to loud sounds can ...

Meniere Disease

Meniere Disease0

Meniere's disease does not have a cure yet, but your doctor might recommend some of the treatments below to help you cope with the condition. Medications. The most disabling symptom of an attack of Meniere's disease is dizziness. Prescription ...

View More Hearing Articles


Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!