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Ho Chi Minh City hospital sees increase in children’s sudden deafness

Ho Chi Minh City hospital sees increase in children’s sudden deafness

Friday, June 09, 2023, 09:26 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City hospital sees increase in children’s sudden deafness
A doctor examines a child with hearing loss at the Ear Nose Throat Hospital Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: M.Thuong / Tuoi Tre

The Ear Nose Throat Hospital Ho Chi Minh City has observed a notable rise in the number of children being diagnosed with unilateral sudden deafness, indicating hearing loss in one ear because of different factors.

Dr. Le Tran Quang Minh, the hospital’s director, revealed that his institution now receives a monthly average of four to five children with sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), commonly known as sudden deafness, a significant increase compared to the previous average of one to two children or even no cases at all each month.

SSHL is characterized by a decrease in hearing of over 30 decibels across three consecutive audiometric frequencies within a span of three days, according to Dr. Nguyen Tuong Duc, deputy head of general pediatrics.

The cause of SSHL in children is multifactorial, with viral infections being the primary suspected trigger.

Dr. Minh added that children frequently experience academic pressure, resulting in late nights spent studying and doing homework. 

The stress of exams can potentially lead to the blockage or spasm of blood vessels in the ear, resulting in the sudden deafness among children.

Besides, due to the scorching summer climate, people, including children, tend to favor cold showers, which may lead to vasoconstriction, and thus sudden deafness in both children and adults.

Sudden deafness can also be attributed to factors such as viral or ear infections, trauma, or the presence of tumors.

While SSHL is relatively easy to identify in adults, it may remain unnoticed among young children who lack the ability to self-diagnose, he explained. 

Instead, manifestations such as declining academic performance and occasional difficulty concentrating serve as potential indicators of sudden deafness in children.

In the case of younger children, who are unable to explicitly express deafness, they often exhibit discomfort in one ear. 

Common manifestations include the child frequently rubbing the affected ear and turning their unaffected ear toward the source of sound.

Dr. Minh advised parents to stay vigilant in identifying sudden deafness among children and promptly seek specialized ear nose throat medical facilities for accurate examination, diagnosis, and treatment.

When diagnosed early and provided with appropriate medication, patients with sudden deafness have a high chance of recovery, with a success rate ranging from 70 to 85 percent within approximately two weeks, according to the doctor. 

However, the possibility of successful recovery declines as the time of detection increases. 

If detected after two weeks, the success rate decreases to 50-60 percent, and the rate becomes even lower given slow detection.

To prevent sudden deafness, the doctor advised people to minimize stress, refrain from frequent exposure to cold water, and opt for warm baths instead.

It is also crucial for individuals with underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and diabetes to effectively manage these health issues.

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Bao Anh - Xuan Mai - My Thuong / Tuoi Tre News

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