An Often Unknown Cause of Hearing Loss in Children

An Often Unknown Cause of Hearing Loss in Children

Understanding and Preventing CMV in the Educational Setting

Author: Brenda Balch, M.D., AAP EHDI Chapter Champion for CT


The leading cause of sensorineural hearing loss is heredity, but many people don’t realize that the second most common cause of SNHL in children is due to Congenital Cytomegalovirus or cCMV. It is also the most common congenital viral infection in the United States and resulting hearing loss may be preventable. CMV can cause wide variation in hearing loss, including progressive loss.  

What is CMV?

Cytomegalovirus is a herpes virus that causes minimal to no symptoms in most people. In the U.S, by age 40, most of us have evidence of a past infection. CMV becomes a concern in primarily two scenarios – in a pregnant woman or in a severely immunocompromised individual. Most women are unaware of CMV and the risk of infection during pregnancy.

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