The Hearing Center
The Hearing Center was established more than 10 years ago to help families obtain answers and treatment with their child’s hearing loss. Since many specialists are involved in diagnosing and treating your child, this center includes audiology, genetics, and otolaryngology (ENT) with consulting specialists in infectious disease, neurology, and ophthalmology.
What Sets Us Apart
- We provide clinic visits that include all the key specialists to reduce the need for countless visits to individual providers.
- Our team is highly experienced and focused in giving you the best and most up-to-date care.
- We have a program coordinator so you only need to call one person to coordinate visits or treatment.
What to Expect
At your visit, you and your child will see a team of specialists including the Pediatric ENT, Medical Geneticist, Genetic counselor and Audiologist. After the physical examination, you will be provided with information about possible diagnosis for your child’s hearing loss and options for genetic testing.
Our team will work with you to obtain authorization from your insurance company for the genetic testing. After the testing is completed, you will have a follow-up visit with the geneticist and genetic counselor to discuss the results.
Genetic Causes of Hearing Loss
Recent research studies on the causes of hearing loss in children show that a genetic cause makes up a much higher amount than previously thought. From recent advances in genetics, we have learned that about 2 of 3 infants born with hearing loss due to inner ear changes have a physical difference in a gene (or genes) that is the reason for the loss. Another important point is that about 1 out of 6 children with hearing loss will have it as one sign of a known genetic syndrome.
In addition many children with hearing loss that is discovered later in childhood (for example, at a school screening) have a genetic reason for the hearing issue. Current research shows that there are more than 200 known genes that play a role in causing hearing loss in children and adults. Testing for many of these genes, including the most common one that causes hearing loss in infants known as connexin 26, is now available in laboratories in Utah and the US.