Hearing loss composes a very heterogeneous group of diagnoses and is one of the most common findings at birth, affecting about 1 in every 500 newborns with the prevalence increasing with age, (Morton & Nance 2006). Deafness is often categorized and described based on 3 key components: conductive versus sensorineural, syndromic or nonsyndromic, and prelingual or postlingual. While some hearing loss can be environmental, multifactorial, more than 50% of prelingual deafness is attributed to genetic causes.
With a large proportion of deafness due genetics and significant genetic heterogeneity, it is important to have an efficient and comprehensive testing option for patients. Identifying the underlying molecular etiology of the hearing loss has important implications for the patients and their families. A specific diagnosis can provide prognostic insights and guide treatment of the hearing loss as well as facilitate monitoring for additional associated health concerns. A clear diagnosis also prevents further, unnecessary testing and gives valuable recurrence risk information.
List of Genes and Associated Clinical Phenotypes