AN IMPORTANT consideration in the diagnosis and prognosis of sensorineural deafness is to establish the stability of the hearing loss. This is important to the patient, the physician, the patient's family, the audiologist, and even to the employer or prospective employer of the patient.
Contemporary studies of progressive sensorineural deafness do not reveal entirely new facts but help to reemphasize the importance of keeping the question in mind.
In a study of 335 members of a family covering five generations, Huizing et al1,2 found progressive sensorineural deafness in 67 of 258 members tested. Inheritance of the trait was of the dominant type. There was no sex-linkage. Hearing deterioration followed a distinct pattern distinguished by several stages. Losses were symmetrical starting with high frequencies only and then proceeded rapidly during the first three decades. After thresholds for high frequencies dropped to about 80 db, hearing for the lower frequencies became
Sataloff J, Vassallo LA. Medical Audiology. Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;86(5):594–597. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760050596022
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