Understanding Hearing and Hearing Loss in Children With Down Syndrome Purpose This study evaluated the prevalence of permanent and transient hearing loss, the use of hearing aids as a recommendation, and middle ear dysfunction in children with Down syndrome (DS) through a large multiage and ethnically diverse sample, using current audiologic testing practices. Method Retrospective analysis of data ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 18, 2017
Understanding Hearing and Hearing Loss in Children With Down Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Emily Nightengale
    Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado, Aurora
  • Patricia Yoon
    Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado, Aurora
  • Kristy Wolter-Warmerdam
    Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado, Aurora
  • Dee Daniels
    Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado, Aurora
  • Fran Hickey
    Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado, Aurora
  • Correspondence to Emily Nightengale: Emily.nightengale@childrenscolorado.org
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Editor: Ryan McCreery
    Editor: Ryan McCreery×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 18, 2017
Understanding Hearing and Hearing Loss in Children With Down Syndrome
American Journal of Audiology, September 2017, Vol. 26, 301-308. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-17-0010
History: Received February 1, 2017 , Revised May 3, 2017 , Accepted May 5, 2017
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2017, Vol. 26, 301-308. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-17-0010
History: Received February 1, 2017; Revised May 3, 2017; Accepted May 5, 2017

Purpose This study evaluated the prevalence of permanent and transient hearing loss, the use of hearing aids as a recommendation, and middle ear dysfunction in children with Down syndrome (DS) through a large multiage and ethnically diverse sample, using current audiologic testing practices.

Method Retrospective analysis of data collected on 308 children with DS (168 boys, 140 girls; average age = 5.99 ± 4.88 years) who received an audiological evaluation during 2013 as part of their medical care at a large pediatric hospital.

Results Permanent hearing loss was identified in 24.9% of the children, among whom bilateral (75.4%) and conductive (33.3%) hearing losses occurred most often. Of children with DS, 22%–30% experienced a transient hearing loss, with a high incidence of middle ear pathologies from infancy until early adulthood. There were no statistical differences between ethnicity and permanent/transient hearing loss diagnosis. Twenty-three percent were current hearing aid users or had them recommended in a treatment plan.

Conclusions The prevalence of hearing loss and abnormal middle ear status is high in the pediatric population with DS. Audiologic evaluations should follow the American Academy of Pediatrics practice guidelines to monitor this high-risk population, and amplification should be considered as an appropriate intervention option if repeated audiologic examinations reveal hearing loss.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation for their financial support of research conducted at the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children's Hospital Colorado.
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