Hearing Disorders in Children: Early Intervention, Treatment and Rehabilitation

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 July 2023) | Viewed by 7856

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences, and Public Health, Section of Audiology, University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy
2. Pediatric Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery Unit, Children Hospital—ASST Spedali Civili of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy
Interests: otology; head neck surgery; hearing disorder; pediatric otolaryngology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hearing function is the mainstay of language acquisition. Hearing loss is one of the most serious impediments to normal communication development, often leading to the delay or absence of normal speech development, depending on the severity of the hearing impairment. Sufficient auditory input is necessary to induce the maturation of the auditory system. Even a temporary hearing impairment in infants may delay language development and more subtle forms of hearing loss, including minimal or mild hearing loss, unilateral hearing loss, fluctuating hearing loss, and conductive hearing loss, which have all been documented to highlight the risk associated with communication and academic success.

Identifying hearing loss as early as possible is crucial to restore a good developmental trajectory and prevent lifelong detrimental effects on the acquisition of spoken language, reading ability, and educational attainment. This may limit access to further education, restrict employment opportunities, and lead to greater dependence on social services later in life.

Early identification facilitates early rehabilitation with hearing aids, which may be fitted on children as young as newborns.

This Special Issue deals with recent advances in the management of hearing disorders in infant and children.

Your contribution is essential to improve knowledge on this important argument.

Prof. Dr. Luca Redaelli de Zinis
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • hearing loss
  • single side deafness
  • cochlear implant
  • newborn hearing screening
  • diagnosis
  • profound hearing loss
  • severe hearing loss
  • moderate hearing loss
  • unilateral hearing loss
  • early rehabilitation
  • auditory system
  • surgical treatment
  • hearing aids

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Parenting Stress in Mothers of Children with Permanent Hearing Impairment
by Grazia Isabella Continisio, Domenico D’Errico, Silvia Toscano, Nelson Mauro Maldonato, Raffaella De Falco, Francesco Nunziata, Angelica Rodio, Antonio Casarella, Valeria Del Vecchio, Anna Rita Fetoni and Rita Malesci
Children 2023, 10(3), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10030517 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2796
Abstract
Permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) represents the most frequent sensory pathology at birth. PCHI has a relevant psychological impact on the life of both the affected children and their families. Thus, the aim of this work is to explore the degree of parental [...] Read more.
Permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) represents the most frequent sensory pathology at birth. PCHI has a relevant psychological impact on the life of both the affected children and their families. Thus, the aim of this work is to explore the degree of parental distress felt by mothers of a deaf or hard-of-hearing child, to determine if this stress is associated with variables related to the children’s health (e.g., the severity of hearing loss, presence of other conditions, difficulty with treatment options, difficulty with rehabilitation) or family characteristics such as socio-economic and educational status. The study used the Parenting Stress Index–Short Form (PSI-SF) questionnaire administered to mothers. The results were analyzed in relation to variables such as parents’ education level, number of children, severity of hearing loss, presence of other chronic conditions, presence of cognitive delay, familiarity with hearing loss, time of diagnosis, use of prosthetics, and start in a rehabilitation program. The data indicate a correlation between maternal stress levels and low-educational levels, as well as the presence of congenital infections and cognitive delay. These results highlight the need for a comprehensive physical and psychological approach for hearing-impaired children, as stress factors can affect the adherence to effective rehabilitation. Full article
11 pages, 662 KiB  
Article
Monitoring of Auditory Function in Newborns of Women Infected by SARS-CoV-2 during Pregnancy
by Enrico Apa, Maria Teresa Presutti, Cecilia Rossi, Maria Federica Roversi, Salvatore Neri, Giancarlo Gargano, Giovanni Bianchin, Valeria Polizzi, Valeria Caragli, Daniele Monzani, Alberto Berardi, Silvia Palma and Elisabetta Genovese
Children 2023, 10(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10020194 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1441
Abstract
Background: Gestational SARS-CoV-2 infection can impact maternal and neonatal health. The virus has also been reported to cause newborn sensorineural hearing loss, but its consequences for the auditory system are not fully understood. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Background: Gestational SARS-CoV-2 infection can impact maternal and neonatal health. The virus has also been reported to cause newborn sensorineural hearing loss, but its consequences for the auditory system are not fully understood. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy on newborn’ hearing function during the first year of life. Methods: An observational study was conducted from 1 November 2020 to 30 November 2021 at University Modena Hospital. All newborns whose mother had been infected by SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy were enrolled and underwent audiological evaluation at birth and at 1 year of age. Results: A total of 119 neonates were born from mothers infected by SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy. At birth, five newborns (4.2%) presented an increased threshold of ABR (Auditory Brainstem Evoked Response), but the results were confirmed only in 1.6% of cases, when repeated 1 month later, while the ABR thresholds in all other children returned to normal limits. At the 1-year follow-up, no cases of moderate or severe hearing loss were observed, while concomitant disorders of the middle ear were frequently observed. Conclusions: Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of the trimester in which it was contracted, appears not to induce moderate or severe hearing loss in infants. It is important to clarify the possible effect of the virus on late-onset hearing loss and future research is needed. Full article
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6 pages, 205 KiB  
Article
Critical Issues in the Management of Newborn Hearing Screening in the Time of COVID-19 in Umbria, Italy
by Valeria Gambacorta, Eva Orzan, Egisto Molini, Ruggero Lapenna, Matteo Paniconi, Alfredo Di Giovanni, Mario Faralli and Giampietro Ricci
Children 2022, 9(11), 1736; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9111736 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Hearing impairment is the most frequent of the sensorial defects in humans, and if not treated promptly, can severely impair cognitive and spoken language skills. For this reason, a universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) has been established. The purpose of our study is [...] Read more.
Hearing impairment is the most frequent of the sensorial defects in humans, and if not treated promptly, can severely impair cognitive and spoken language skills. For this reason, a universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) has been established. The purpose of our study is to examine, by means of a retrospective analysis, the results of the UNHS program in the Umbria region during the spread of COVID-19 (2020–2021), comparing the same data from the years 2011–2012, to understand if the program has improved. Our study has shown how the coverage rate of well born babies’ (WB) screening has significantly increased to currently meet the JCIH benchmark. The percentage of WB referrals significantly decreased in 2020–2021, another indicator of the screening program’s greater efficiency in Umbria. However, a critical issue has emerged: the percentage of those lost to follow-up is greater than 30%, well above the benchmark. As far as the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had a significant impact, it is necessary to carefully monitor those who do not access the diagnostic level. To emphasize the importance of a proper screening program, it will be helpful to strengthen the computerized data collection system and create an information network between audiologists, pediatricians and families. Full article
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Review

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7 pages, 510 KiB  
Review
Management of Juvenile Otosclerosis: A Systematic Review
by Virginia Fancello, Luca Sacchetto, Chiara Bianchini, Andrea Ciorba, Daniele Monzani and Silvia Palma
Children 2022, 9(11), 1787; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9111787 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1838
Abstract
Background. Otosclerosis can occur during childhood, resulting in the early onset of conductive hearing loss. The approach to a child with otosclerosis can present some difficulties in terms of diagnosis and treatment, and the literature on juvenile otosclerosis (JO) is still relatively limited. [...] Read more.
Background. Otosclerosis can occur during childhood, resulting in the early onset of conductive hearing loss. The approach to a child with otosclerosis can present some difficulties in terms of diagnosis and treatment, and the literature on juvenile otosclerosis (JO) is still relatively limited. Aim. To explore the current approaches to JO, in order to clear the management of this condition and evaluate the outcomes and the possible complications of surgical treatment. Methods. A systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines, searching Medline and Embase from January 2002 through to 30 September 2022. A total of 759 papers were identified but based on specified criteria, nine were included in this study. Results. There were 94 children affected by JO and treated by stapes surgery. According to the available data, Male: Female ratio was 1:3–4, whilst the mean ages ranged from 10 to 16.3 years at the time of stapes surgery. After stapes surgery, the target of ABG < 10 dB was achieved in most of the patients. Overall, the 4 complications were reported (4/94= 4%): stenosis of the external ear canal, deterioration of hearing, anacusis with vertigo, tinnitus. Conclusions. The heterogeneity of the available studies does not allow us to draw straight conclusions on this topic, currently. More data about the natural history of the disease in children could help in approaching the treatment correctly, and possibly in drawing guidelines. Studies with a prolonged follow-up could be helpful for assisting clinicians and families in taking the most favorable decision about treatment. Full article
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