“Is hearing loss hereditary? Could I pass it on to my future children?”
Hearing loss can be brought forth by multiple factors, with genes being an underlying cause at times. So to put it simply, the answer to the question of whether or not hearing loss can be passed down from generation to generation, is yes. However, not every case of hearing loss is dependent on inherited genes.
Hearing Loss At Birth
The hereditary side to hearing loss comes from a gene mutation thats passed along through birth. This type of hearing loss at birth is considered non-syndromic. Non-syndromic hearing loss is when hearing loss is unaccompanied by other symptoms. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is syndromic hearing loss, which is associated with a syndrome at birth such as: Usher’s syndrome, Pendred syndrome, and DiGeorge syndrome.
The mutated gene passed down from parent to child can either be recessive, not showing any symptoms, or dominant, where hearing loss is evident. When a child is birthed with the recessive mutated gene they are considered to be carriers. This is typically the reason as to why parents with normal hearing can sometimes give birth to a child with hearing difficulties. Many parents may even be unaware that they carry the gene mutation due to the fact that there are no symptoms.
Sometimes children can be born with the gene mutation but don’t experience any hearing loss until later on in life, this is called late-onset hearing loss. This type of gene mutation progresses hearing loss at a quicker rate later in life usually between the time of birth and before starting kindergarten.
Each Cause Can Be Different
To this date scientists have identified a total of 112 non-syndromic hearing loss genes. 45 of the 112 genes are dominant and the other 71 have been categorized as recessive genes. Hearing loss can be hereditary, but that doesn’t always mean that symptoms will be present depending on which type of gene one inherits.
Remember, it’s important to take note of any changes you notice with your hearing and communicate with your audiologist. If you or a loved one has experienced any type of hearing difficulties recently contact us today!