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Genetics and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen because of genetic mutations during development of a baby. The inner ear has two special proteins that are only found in the ear. These proteins can be affected by gene mutations that happen when babies are developing in the womb.Related image

Ongoing research shows that it may soon be possible to intervene and stop those mutations. If you are about to have a baby, you should contact Doctors of Hearing for an update of what can be done to save your unborn child from hearing loss. The gene mutations either cause a delay in hearing development of hearing or total loss.

The genes in question are the SLC26A4, they are the ones that encode proteins forming hearing channels capable of converting sound waves into electrical pulses that can be transmitted by neurons into the brain. The brain can then process the electrical pulses to interpret sounds.When these genes mutate, they cause a variance in the way the channel are formed.

That in turn causes the channels to produce wrong electrical pulses that the brain cannot interpret correctly. DoctorsOfHearing says current research points to a possibility of intervening and stopping hearing loss during embryonic formation. It is possible to intervene and stop the effects caused by the gene mutations that lead to deafness.

Although no tests have been done on humans, the results showed that absences of the gene caused swelling of the inner ear, thus causing deafness. Other effects of the gene mutation are loss of balance, which could explain why other kids take long before they learn to walk.

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The research concluded that by repairing the endolymphatic sac while the baby is still in the embryonic stage, it could be possible to restore hearing loss and balance to normal levels. If you are expecting to have a baby, or there are cases of deafness in your family, it is possible your unborn child will be affected as well.
You should visit Doctors of Hearing, in Los Angeles, Pasadena, for a diagnosis and medical advice. 

Contact us at for more information!  909-466-7722

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