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The Link between Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Pediatric Hearing Loss

Did you know? June is National Cytomegalovirus (CMV) awareness month! Not sure what CMV is? We can help. CMV is one of the most frequently transmitted intrauterine infections, detectable in around 0.64%–0.70% of live births worldwide. Most women in the United States know little about CMV infections and the impact the virus can have on their unborn infants. One of the most notable aspects of CMV is its link to pediatric hearing loss.

About CMV

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common side effect following congenital CMV infection. In fact, it’s estimated to be the leading environmental cause of pediatric hearing loss, responsible for around 15%-21% of all hearing loss at birth in the United States. The more complicated aspect of the condition is the fact that CMV-related hearing loss can be progressive or late-onset. In fact, almost half of all hearing loss cases due to CMV infection are late-onset and/or progressive.

CMV-related hearing loss doesn’t present itself with a unique configuration, can affect one or both ears, and can range from mild to severe. It can even fluctuate throughout the years, making it an especially tricky infection to deal with in terms of hearing loss. Because of the link between CMV and pediatric hearing loss, if an infant or child has been diagnosed with CMV, it’s important to frequently monitor the child’s hearing to ensure it doesn’t worsen over time. That’s where our audiologists can help – making regular appointments helps monitor your child’s hearing so you can be confident nothing was missed.


Infants and children with a CMV infection need early and more frequent audiological evaluations throughout childhood. Recommendations in the past have called for audiological evaluations every six months; however, when hearing loss appears to be changing, audiological evaluations may be needed every three months to assess and document changes in hearing status.

As always, we’re committed to helping you navigate the sometimes complicated world of hearing loss, whether it be for CMV, tinnitus, or an impaction. Make an appointment with us, and we’ll get to the bottom of it, together!

Source: Ross, D.S., Fowler, K.B. (2008). Cytomegalovirus: A Major Cause of Hearing Loss in Children.

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