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עמוד בית
Tue, 06.12.22

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 21

Journal 9, September 2019
pages: 607-611

Hearing Loss and Ophthalmic Pathology in Children Diagnosed Before and after the Implementation of a Universal Hearing Screening Program

Summary

Background

:

Ophthalmic pathologies may further complicate the sensory input of patients with congenital hearing loss; however, data on children with coexisting impairment of vision and hearing is outdated, from before universal implementation of hearing screening programs.

Objectives:

To examine the different ophthalmic pathologies among children with congenital sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) before or after the introduction of a universal newborn hearing screening program (UNHSP).

Methods:

Retrospective cohort study was conducted of 91 children diagnosed with congenital SNHL between 2005 and 2016 in a tertiary pediatric hospital. All patients completed an ophthalmologic examination, including assessment of visual acuity, refraction, ocular motility, slit lamp examination, and indirect funduscopy. Radiological assessment and genetic analysis were offered to all caregivers.

Results:

Average age at diagnosis was 4.1 years. Nineteen children (21%) were diagnosed with an ophthalmic condition, of which the most common were refractive pathologies. Diagnosis of an ophthalmic pathology was twice as likely in the pre-UNHSP era (14 children, 27%) compared to the post-UNHSP era (5 children, 13%). Out of 91 children, 57 (63%) underwent a computed tomography scan and/or magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging was positive for structural abnormalities in 23 children (40%). There was no correlation between imaging and ophthalmic conditions. Genetic analysis was performed in 67 patients (74%).

Conclusions:

The ophthalmic assessment of babies and children with congenital SNHL may yield in significant numbers of children with concomitant ophthalmic pathologies. Implementation of a UNHSP allows early diagnosis and treatment of coexisting ophthalmic and hearing conditions.

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