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Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

A new study has found that about 20 percent of children with sensorineural hearing loss also have eye disorders.

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage of the inner ear or to the nerves that link the ear to the brain and affects up to three of every 1,000 children. Half of all cases in children are due to genetics. One gene, GJB2, accounts for a large proportion of sensorineural hearing loss in Caucasians.

The study, published in the February issued of Archives of Otolaryngology – - Head & Neck Surgery, looked at the data of 226 children with sensorineural hearing loss. Of that group, 21.7 percent had eye disorders including problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

“A multidisciplinary approach is important in the evaluation and treatment of children with sensorineural hearing loss to ensure that their medical, education and social needs are met,” the study concluded. “Ophthalmologic evaluation can be beneficial for patients by allowing ophthalmologists to diagnose (and possibly treat) co-existing disorders that affect vision and by helping otolaryngology to determine cause of sensorineural hearing loss.”

More Information: Hearing Loss in Children

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