Hearing - Hearing Loss (Children)
What causes it
Recent research shows that up to 60% of previously unknown causes of congenital sensorineural hearing loss are actually due to gene mutations.
About the condition
Hearing loss is one of the most common congenital disorders. Early detection and management of hearing loss is crucial for the best speech, learning, and social development outcomes.
Routine genetic testing for hearing loss in Singapore is pioneered at the NUH Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory with our department. This will allow families to plan for future pregnancies, and predict the presence of hearing loss in their newborns. We have also developed a questionnaire for assessing the sources of stress related to caring for hearing impaired children, so as to tailor rehabilitation for the individual child and family. Older children get hearing tests tailored to their age.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Our friendly team of audiologists, auditory-verbal therapist and ENT surgeons provide a one-stop service for our patients. At NUH, children as young as a few hours old are screened for hearing loss using specialised tests, such as the Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) and Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR).
A complete range of conventional, digital and bone conduction hearing aids is available. Nowadays, a cochlear implant device surgically placed into the inner ear allows profoundly deaf children and adults to hear. Auditory-verbal therapy post- implant is crucial and provided here.
Some children with normal hearing test results may still complain of hearing loss. They may be mistakenly diagnosed as lying, badly behaved or autistic. In fact, they may have disorders of processing sounds like Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), or hearing dys-synchronisation (Auditory Neuropathy). Special tests are performed to exclude the possibility of these conditions.