Medication-induced deafness

In developed countries, approximately 1 in every 300 children shows severe or profound deafness at birth or during early childhood.

Several studies of deaf children have indicated that exposure to aminoglycoside antibiotics can lead to substantial hearing loss in 13- 66% of cases. Deafness has long-term implications for children in terms of communication skills, educational achievement and overall quality of life.

Specific types of antibiotics; aminoglycosides are known to cause damage to the inner parts of the ear thus leading to partial deafness in susceptible children. It is estimated that there are 1 in 500 children that carry a certain mitochondrial mutation; m.1555A >G that predisposes them to rapid and permanent hearing loss after just one single dose of these antibiotics.

Postnatal testing for this intolerance will enable a doctor to make a more informed decision regarding the type of antibiotic treatment prescribed for your child. Alternative antibiotics can be administered in order to avoid hearing loss, in children whose tests have indicated they are susceptible to this specific intolerance.

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Testing for medication-induced deafness

At present there are no alternative tests available on the market today meaning that without performing this genetic test, parents will be unaware of any potential dangers or reactions until their child is prescribed medicines.

Outlook offers parents a more detailed insight into their child’s predisposition to antibiotic-induced deafness. This test offers parents a real insight into the medical requirements of their child when it comes to specific antibiotic-based treatments. This is a simple and non-invasive test that can be carried-out prior to any symptoms of intolerance.

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