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Three Cases of Recovery from Sensorineural Hearing Loss in the First Year of Life: Implications for Monitoring and Management
Background Three infants with different risk factors, behavioral and physiologic audiometric histories, and diagnoses were fit with amplification between 3 and 8 months of age. Two of the three met criteria for cochlear implantation.
Purpose This article aims to heighten awareness of the rare possibility of recovery from sensorineural hearing loss in infants with varying histories and emphasize the importance of a full diagnostic test battery in all infants diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss every 3 months until objective and subjective thresholds are stable to ensure appropriate intervention.
Research Design Case reports.
Results All three infants demonstrated improvement or full recovery of hearing and cochlear function by approximately 12 months old. Their change in hearing was discovered due to frequent follow-up and/or caregiver report. One of these infants was tentatively scheduled to have cochlear implant surgery 2 months later.
Conclusion Appropriate early intervention for infants with hearing loss is critical to ensure maximum accessibility to speech and language cues. The Federal Drug Administration approves cochlear implantation in infants as young as 12 months. When providing audiometric management of infants with sensorineural hearing loss, it is imperative to conduct a full diagnostic test battery every 3 months (including tympanometric, acoustic reflex, and otoacoustic emission measurement) until objective and subjective thresholds are stable. There was no apparent pattern of factors to predict that the infants highlighted in these cases would recover. Discussion among pediatric audiologists and otologists and comparison of data from clinics across the U.S. is needed to identify predictive patterns and determine appropriate, consistent monitoring of infants with sensorineural hearing loss.
Portions of these data were submitted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Audiology, April, 2016.
Received: 26 November 2019
Accepted: 23 June 2020
15 February 2021 (online)
© 2021. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.
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