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January 1, 2003


From: Glasgow Daily Record, UK - 01 Jan 2003

Judith Duffy

THE most common cause of hearing loss is ageing and only a relatively small number of children are born deaf.

Every year, around 13 in every 10,000 children in the UK are born deaf or lose their hearing before they learn to speak.

In 90 per cent of cases, they are born into families with no history of deafness.

Hearing loss can result from disease, illness, injury and excessive exposure to noise. In around half of cases, it is thought to be genetic.

Hearing loss can be inherited from one or both parents, who may or may not have a loss of hearing themselves.

But gene mutations can also occur spontaneously - which means they have not been inherited but happen during development.

There are currently about 8.7million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Of these, 670,000 are severely or profoundly deaf, while almost eight million have a mild to moderate hearing loss.

An estimated 840 children are born in the UK every year with "significant deafness".

Many deaf people never find the exact cause of their deafness.

© Copyright 2003 Daily Record