Even Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss in Children Leads to Changes in How Brain Processes Sound
[Source; Medical X-Press]
Deafness in early childhood is known to lead to lasting changes in how sounds are processed in the brain, but new research published today in eLife shows that even mild-to-moderate levels of hearing loss in young children can lead to similar changes.
Researchers say that the findings may have implications for how babies are screened for hearing loss and how mild-to-moderate hearing loss in children is managed by healthcare providers.
The structure and function of the auditory system, which processes sounds in the brain, develops throughout childhood in response to exposure to sounds. In profoundly deaf children, the auditory system undergoes a functional reorganisation, repurposing itself to respond more to visual stimuli, for example. However, until now relatively little was known about the effects of mild-to-moderate hearing loss during childhood.