Nearly 20% of Children May Not Have Normal Hearing Interview with:

Dr. Carlijn M. P. le Clercq, MD Speech and Language Pathology, Pediatrics, Otolaryngology Erasmus MC , Rotterdam 

Dr. Carlijn M. P. le Clercq

Dr. Carlijn M. P. le Clercq, MD
Speech and Language Pathology, Pediatrics, Otolaryngology
Erasmus MC , Rotterdam What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There has been increasing interest for acquired hearing loss among children, and concerns about its prevalence possibly rising over time. One of the questions that come up, is whether there is an association with the growing use of portable music players with headphones, including smartphones and tablets. There have been few longitudinal studies to explore this relation.

In order to examine this relation, among other factors, we have conducted a formal hearing screening among more than 5000 9- to 11-year-old children from a population-based birth cohort in the Netherlands.

Our study showed that nearly one in five children did not have normal hearing. Of the cohort, 7.8% of the children showed signs of permanent hearing loss. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: We believe that these numbers are relevant for clinical practice, since we assume that these children have already acquired hearing loss prior to the exposure to the common known risk factors for hearing loss, such as older age, smoking, hazardous loud (occupational) noise, and discotheque and concert visits. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Currently, we are studying associations with acquired hearing loss and this young age, in order to develop targeted preventive measures for the future. It would be useful for clinical practice if we –and others– would able to identify, and proof, risk factors for childhood acquired hearing loss. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: These first results are based on a cross-sectional measurement and provide a baseline for future measurements. Longitudinal, repeated measurements are currently being performed, and will provide more insight in the hearing losses found. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


le Clercq CMP, van Ingen G, Ruytjens L, Goedegebure A, Moll HA, Raat H, Jaddoe VWV, Baatenburg de Jong RJ, van der Schroeff MP. Prevalence of Hearing Loss Among Children 9 to 11 Years OldThe Generation R StudyJAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online July 27, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2017.1068

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 30, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD