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Author: admin, 26.01.2015
Hearing loss is the most common birth defect in America and is the third most common chronic ailment among older adults. Any occupation with exposure to loud noises on a continuous day-to-day basis can result in hearing loss due to nerve end damage.
Hearing loss is a common and complex condition that can occur at any age, can be inherited or acquired, and is associated with a remarkably wide array of etiologies.
When a genetic etiology is possible, a clinical genetics evaluation, including genetic counseling, offers a number of potential benefits for children and adults with hearing loss and their families. Rick Friedman, professor of otolaryngology and neurosurgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and senior author of the study.
In a new genome-wide association study, an international team led by Keck Medicine of USC neuroscientists has found evidence that some people may be more genetically susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss than others.
Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Those at higher genetic risk for hearing loss may decide to take additional precautionary measures to protect their hearing prior to hazardous noise exposure, study authors say. Health care providers can refer a patient by calling the Physician Referral and Consultation Line at (800) 995-LPCH (5724), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Research has clearly shown hearing loss negatively impacts quality of life, overall health, personal and professional relationships, and your ability to communicate. Hearing loss can be caused by aging, noise exposure, ear infections, ototoxic medications, head or ear trauma, congenital or hereditary factors, disease and many other causes. Increased attention to conditions in the work environment has markedly decreased the likelihood of work-related hearing loss.

According to a study by the National Council on Aging, people with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression and anxiety, and tended to participate less in social activities than those who obtain treatment for their hearing loss. The diverse causes of hearing loss, combined with the highly variable and often overlapping presentations of different forms of hearing loss, challenge the ability of traditional clinical evaluations to arrive at an etiologic diagnosis for many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. In general, hearing loss is categorized as either syndromic or nonsyndromic, depending on the presence or absence of associated defects in other organ systems. A few syndromes, such as Pendred (enlarged vestibular aqueduct, thyroid problems), Usher (retinitis pigmentosa), Waardenburg (pigmentary anomalies), and branchio-oto-renal (branchial arch and renal anomalies) syndromes, account for substantial percentages of hearing loss in some populations.20,22,23,24,25 Syndromic hearing loss may be transmitted as an autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, X-linked, or matrilineal trait. This helps to identify other family members at risk for hearing loss and to provide treatment for those relatives at an early age. It has been estimated that 90 to 95 percent of all cases of hearing loss can be corrected with hearing aids. However, according to the NCOA study, persons who seek out and receive treatment for their hearing loss will often report benefits that include better relationships with their families, better feelings about themselves, improved mental health and greater sense of independence and security. However, identifying the etiology of a hearing loss may affect clinical management, improve prognostic accuracy, and refine genetic counseling and assessment of the likelihood of recurrence for relatives of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. A review of individual conditions can be found in Hereditary Hearing Loss and Its Syndromes by Toriello and Smith20 and the online database GeneReviews.19For some syndromic forms of hearing loss, such as Usher syndrome or Pendred syndrome, the nonauditory features can be subtle, especially in early childhood. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals use a variety of communication methods, including spoken and signed language, lip reading, and written notes. Keep yourself busyOn the grapevine: Fitness enthusiast boss makes co-workers sweatAre you slogging in the gym without results? In 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported hearing loss as one of the most common disabilities among veterans receiving disability compensation.

Occasionally, it is possible to find a treatable cause of the hearing loss and prevent further loss. Linguistic and cultural identities associated with being deaf or hard of hearing can complicate access to and the effectiveness of clinical care. Special training may be needed to optimize communication between individuals with hearing loss and genetics professionals.
These concerns can be minimized when genetic and other health-care services are provided in a linguistically and culturally sensitive manner.
Obtaining an etiologic diagnosis also provides the basis for precise genetic counseling that includes an accurate estimation of the chances for recurrence of hearing loss within families. For many syndromic forms of hearing loss, there is marked variability in the phenotypic presentation and in the age of onset of syndromic features.
Such training may include (i) training sign language interpreters in medical and genetics terminology and (ii) training genetics professionals to work effectively with sign language interpreters and use a variety of communication aids, including videophones, video relay services, instant messaging, and visual aids.80In addition, deafness is considered by some to be a nonmedical trait. For example, hearing loss is observed in only 20–50% of individuals with Waardenburg syndrome. This difference in perspective may affect the willingness of some individuals to obtain genetic services and genetic counseling.83,84 However, when given accurate information about the nature of genetic counseling and how to obtain a referral, Deaf adults are often interested in receiving genetic services in order to learn more about themselves and why they are deaf or hard of hearing. In the United States, presbycusis is present in 40–50% of individuals aged 75 and older.

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