There are many different causes of hearing loss in children. Some infants are born with hearing damage due to genetic factors. Sometimes, hearing loss happens during pregnancy.
Acquired causes are also widespread. While noise exposure and mechanical injuries are dangerous, diseases cause even more concern. Childhood illnesses that damage the hearing include chickenpox, mumps, and ear infections.
But which illness is the most common?
Cytomegalovirus and Hearing Loss in Children
Experts say that the cytomegalovirus is the most common non-genetic cause of hearing damage. It affects one out of ten infants with hearing loss. Additionally, it is present in around 1% of all infants.
The main symptoms in newborns include yellow skin and purple rashes. Afflicted infants may have an abnormally small head. Additionally, it often comes with a low birth weight and pneumonia.
In many cases, the virus passes from mother to child during birth. It can also spread through breast milk.
This virus acts very quickly. In addition to hearing damage, it can affect a newborn’s vision too. Brain damage and seizures are also possible.
Children who have this disease may have some learning disabilities. They might also have weak muscles and bad coordination.
So is this virus dangerous to an adult too?
Most adults can live with this virus without severe symptoms. However, it can be fatal to people with immune disorders.
What About a Cure?
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to do anything about this virus. There is no vaccine that can help yet.
However, doctors are working on an antiviral treatment. It might be possible to apply this in the near future. For now, the best way to use the antiviral treatment is to screen infants for this disease.