Risk Factors Associated With Early Childhood Hearing Loss

In this study, we examined the association between risk factors for hearing loss and early childhood hearing status (normal hearing, congenital hearing loss, or delayed-onset hearing loss) | American Journal of Audiology


Method: A retrospective data review was completed on 115,039 children born from 2010 to 2012. Data analyses included prevalence rates, odds ratios, and Fisher exact tests of statistical significance.

Results: Ninety percent of children were born with no risk factors for hearing loss; of those, 99.9% demonstrated normal hearing by 3 years of age. Of the 10% of children born with risk factors, 96.3% demonstrated normal hearing by age 3, 1.4% presented with congenital hearing loss, and 2.3% demonstrated permanent hearing loss by age 3. Factors that placed children at the highest risk of congenital hearing impairment were neurodegenerative disorders, syndromes, and congenital infections. Factors that placed children at the highest risk of developing permanent postnatal hearing loss were congenital cytomegalovirus, syndromes, and craniofacial anomalies.

Conclusions: Certain risk factors place a child at significantly greater risk of congenital hearing impairment or developing permanent hearing loss by age 3. Follow-up diagnostic testing should remain a priority for children with certain risk factors for hearing loss.

Full reference: Dumanch, K.A. et al. (2017) High Risk Factors Associated With Early Childhood Hearing Loss: A 3-Year Review. American Journal of Audiology, June 2017, Vol. 26, 129-142

Service Delivery to Children With Mild Hearing Loss

Walker, E.A. et al. (2017) American Journal of Audiology. Vol. 26(3) pp. 38-52


Purpose: This study investigates clinical practice patterns and parent perception of intervention for children with mild hearing loss (HL).


Conclusion:s Audiologists appear to be moving toward regularly providing amplification for children with mild HL. However, delays in HA fittings indicate that further educating professionals and parents about the benefits of early amplification and intervention is warranted to encourage timely fitting and consistent use of HAs.

Read the abstract here

Paediatric hearing loss

 Nieto Hannah, Dearden James, Dale Stacey, Doshi Jayesh. Paediatric hearing loss BMJ 2017; 356 :j803

It is estimated 1 in 5 children of around 2 years will have been affected by glue ear and 8 in 10 will have been affected once or more by age of 10.

Key points:

  • Take paediatric hearing loss seriously, especially if neonatal screening has been missed
  • Conductive hearing loss is most commonly caused by glue ear, usually a transient disease
  • All children who have had bacterial meningitis should have a follow-up hearing test

Auditory-Verbal Therapy: Under the Lens of Empirical Evidence

Kaipa, R. (2016) Hearing Journal. 69(10) pp.  8-9


Auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) is notably one of the most popular approaches to improve communication skills of children with hearing impairment . Focusing on audition as the primary input for learning spoken language without relying on speech reading and gestures, AVT requires children with HI to wear amplification devices on a regular basis. The main differences between AVT and other oral-based rehabilitation approaches are that AVT is tailored to suit the individual needs of each client and that it requires the child’s parent or caregiver to be present at each session . From the time the first report on AVT was published in 1993 , AVT has been the choice of parents of children with HI for learning spoken language. Like any other treatment approach, it is imperative to evaluate empirical evidence to determine the efficacy of AVT.

A detailed review of studies on AVT outcomes conducted from 1993 to the present reveals a lack of strong evidence supporting the efficacy of this approach. Ten studies on AVT outcomes in speech and language development report that:

  • children with HI receiving AVT can successfully learn spoken language
  • socioeconomic status has no effect on AVT outcomes
  • hearing-impaired children over 3 years old can catch up with their hearing peers in terms of speech and language.

Read the full article here

Language and speech outcomes of children with hearing loss and additional disabilities

Cupples, L. et al. International Journal of Audiology. Published online: 14 September 2016

Objective: This study examined language and speech outcomes in young children with hearing loss and additional disabilities.

Design: Receptive and expressive language skills and speech output accuracy were evaluated using direct assessment and caregiver report. Results were analysed first for the entire participant cohort, and then to compare results for children with hearing aids (HAs) versus cochlear implants (CIs).

Study sample: A population-based cohort of 146 five-year-old children with hearing loss and additional disabilities took part.

Results: Across all participants, multiple regressions showed that better language outcomes were associated with milder hearing loss, use of oral communication, higher levels of cognitive ability and maternal education, and earlier device fitting. Speech output accuracy was associated with use of oral communication only. Average outcomes were similar for children with HAs versus CIs, but their associations with demographic variables differed. For HA users, results resembled those for the whole cohort. For CI users, only use of oral communication and higher cognitive ability levels were significantly associated with better language outcomes.

Conclusions: The results underscore the importance of early device fitting for children with additional disabilities. Strong conclusions cannot be drawn for CI users given the small number of participants with complete data.

Read the abstract here

Paediatric hearing aid management: a demonstration project for using virtual visits to enhance parent support

Muñoz, K et al. International Journal of Audiology. Published online: 9 September 2016

smartphone-1184883_960_720Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the use of virtual visits to monitor hearing aid use with data logging measurements and provide parent support for hearing aid management.

Design: A 6-month longitudinal case study design was used.

Study sample: Four families and two providers participated.

Results: Average hours of daily hearing aid use increased 3.5 h from the beginning to the end of the study period. Prior to receiving virtual visits, the parents and the clinicians generally indicated they were hopeful about the benefits of virtual visits including the frequency and convenience of the appointments but had some concerns about technical difficulties. These concerns diminished at the conclusion of the study.

Conclusion: Virtual visits provided benefits to families including flexibility and timely access to support. The ability to collect data logging information more frequently was important for effective problem-solving to increase hearing aid use. Both parents and clinicians were accepting of tele-support. Parents and professionals would benefit from technology that allows them to access data logging information more easily and frequently.

Read the abstract here