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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus
Otorinolaringologia 2009 December;59(4):221-7
Understanding hearing loss in children: what is known and what remains to be learned?
Gordon A. 1.2, Papsin B. C. 1,2
1 Cochlear Implant Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hearing loss in childhood has profound effects on development of the auditory system and influences how children learn to communicate using oral speech and language. It is therefore important to identify hearing loss as soon as possible and to provide children with hearing loss with a mode of communication Because hearing loss can be present at birth in children with no risk factors, neonatal hearing screening for all newborns has been implemented in many centres around the world. If the hearing loss is considered to be permanent in the long or short term, children can be fitted with auditory prostheses which provide access to sound and promote development along the auditory pathways. Many children using hearing aids, bone anchored hearing aids, and cochlear implants have been able to develop near normal oral speech and language skills using these devices. However, there still remain many questions regarding childhood hearing loss. We often do not know the cause, the onset, or the effects of the hearing loss and advances to auditory prostheses continue to be made. In addition, we are still investigating when and how to provide optimal auditory stimulation for children who are deaf. Beyond the areas of hearing and language development, there is much to be learned about the psycho-social impacts of hearing loss in children. In sum, care for children with hearing loss continues to improve as we seek to better understand both the hearing loss and methods to promote hearing development in these children.