Congenital hearing loss, meaning that the hearing loss is present at birth is grouped into three defining categories:
It has been reported that the most common cause for congenital hearing loss (CHL) is genetics, causing more than 50% of all hearing loss present at birth. Medical information indicates that CHL is caused by the mutations of certain genes while the fetus is developing. The second largest cause for this type of hearing loss is environmental causes. Environmental causes for CHL largely encompass a variety of diseases and infections which the fetus is exposed to through the mother. Again, these infections may affect the fetus during development or while in the birth canal during delivery. Immediate medical attention can help the baby escape permanent damage, but without it, serious neurological damage, mental retardation or even death can occur. The most common culprits to CHL according to online research is hypoxia, neonatal icterus and medications: particularly amino glycosides, toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, meningitis, Usher’s syndrome, Waardenburg syndrome and herpes. Other types of hearing loss are unknown and deemed idiopathic.
Technology has changed the lives of many hearing impaired individuals with cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a device that sends electrical signals from sound vibrations directly to the brain. The internal components of this device, which include the receiver and electrode system, are surgically implanted into the inner ear. The external components, such as the transmitter system, sound processor and microphone rest on the outer ear. Cochlear implants can restore hearing in profoundly deaf individuals who suffer hearing loss due to loss of sensory hair cells in their cochlea. The cochlea is the auditory structure of the inner ear. For more information on cochlear implants view the video: