Friday, 29 May 2009

Pollution leading to hearing disability in new born babies

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Environmental factors including increasing pollution levels are contributing to hearing disability in new born babies.
A study by a group of city researchers reveals that while genetic factors contribute to 50 per cent of deaf cases in new born babies, 40 per cent of the cases are related to environmental factors like pollution.
The incidence of hearing disability is two to three per 1000 live births in India and one per 1000 babies is profoundly deaf at birth or in the prelingual (stage of learning language) childhood period.
As against these pre-natal (before birth) factors, post-natal (after birth) infection of the ear (otitis media) is responsible for 11.71 per cent cases of deafness in children while head injuries contribute to just 4.83 per of the cases. The study was conducted by the Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases and the Department of ENT, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad.
The factors responsible for infection of the middle ear include poor hygiene, lack of breast feeding, poor nutrition and inadequate healthcare. "Proper care during birth and proper monitoring after birth of the child is required to prevent adverse postnatal conditions leading to direct hearing loss or indirect disease related sensorineural hearing loss that can cause permanent disability in survivors of adverse perinatal conditions," the study pointed out.
As many as 1076 children below 14 years of age with congenital hearing impairment formed the study group.

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