Study Shows That Saliva Test On Newborns Can Identify Hearing Loss

Having a saliva test on your new-born could identify any risks of hearing loss, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, United States, have found that a simple saliva swab on infants and babies may help doctors better recognise those born with an infection that is responsible for as much as 25% of hearing loss early in life.

The analysis found that by taking a wet saliva sample they could identify all the babies infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV) and about 97% of the babies when using a dries saliva sample.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the research could help make testing for the infection routine and such an infection can develop into hearing loss. Studies claim that 20% of hearing loss at birth and 25% of hearing loss seen in four-year-olds is due to CMV.

Boppana, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: “Most babies with CMV infection won’t be identified at birth, unless you screen them for CMV infection, because they look like every other healthy baby.”

A CMV screening test costs about $2.50 to $3 per child. The researcher involved the saliva samples from almost 35,000 babies in seven US hospitals from June 2008 to November 2009.

So get a CMV test for your new-born baby and avoid the child later on in life having to wear a hearing aid, such as a phonak hearing aid or oticon hearing aid.



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