Mutations causing hearing loss

The cause of hearing loss may often be found in the human building blocks, the genes. Research has added genetic defects to the list of causes of hearing loss along with noise exposure and infections, among others.

According to an American survey, hearing loss among children in developing countries may be caused by gene mutations in as many as 50 percent of the cases. In other words, genetic hearing loss may be hereditary in some instances.

Genes affecting us from cradle to grave

Some of us were born with hearing loss, but a majority of us have it by the time we die, in part due to our genes. An article in Experimental Gerontology estimated that the causes of age related hearing loss are 35-55 percent genetic.

Some populations more disposed than others

Genetic factors also make some populations more susceptible to hearing loss than others. A study, carried out in Germany including 3.5 million people, found significantly higher rates of severe genetically caused hearing loss among children of Turkish parents than among children in the general German population. The incidence was 0.04 percent among children of Turkish parents, almost six times the general rate.

Source: Reuters Health,, 'Genes in the Ear: What Have We Learned Over the Last Years?', Scandinavian Audiology