Fluctuating Hearing Loss in Children Fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss in children is an uncommon phenomenon, and there are no data available that specifically address the frequency of this hearing loss in children. In most children, a fluctuating hearing loss is unaccompanied by vestibular dysfunction or facial nerve abnormality, features that may otherwise allow the hearing ... Clinical Focus: Consult
Clinical Focus: Consult  |   March 01, 1992
Fluctuating Hearing Loss in Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Charles M. Myer, III
    Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus: Consult   |   March 01, 1992
Fluctuating Hearing Loss in Children
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 25-26. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.25
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 25-26. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.25
Fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss in children is an uncommon phenomenon, and there are no data available that specifically address the frequency of this hearing loss in children. In most children, a fluctuating hearing loss is unaccompanied by vestibular dysfunction or facial nerve abnormality, features that may otherwise allow the hearing loss to be identified at an earlier stage. If a child presents to a clinician at the first sign of a sudden hearing loss, investigative and therapeutic maneuvers may be instituted immediately, including behavioral audiometry; evoked potential testing; radiographic studies of the temporal bones; visual testing; and selected blood studies investigating anemia, renal function, thyroid function, cholesterol, triglycerides, and syphilis. If abnormalities are documented, what ultimately could be a fluctuating loss will not be identified as such if intervention is instituted prior to documented fluctuations. In order to identify a child with a fluctuating hearing loss, one must follow the child over a period of time to document the fluctuation in the child’s hearing. In our institution, this involves quarterly testing for at least 1 year to document any evidence of progression or fluctuation in hearing thresholds. Some difficulties may arise in very young children in whom evoked potential tests need to be repeated under sedation. Several potential causes of fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss in children will be discussed, though their infrequency precludes our ability to arrange them in any rank order.
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