At least half of children with Treacher Collins syndrome have hearing loss. It may happen because:
- Sound is blocked from reaching the inner ear (conductive hearing loss). This may be caused by very narrow or missing ear canals.
- Problems with the 3 bones in the middle ear that transmit sound.
Most often your baby’s hearing is screened in the hospital soon after birth or within a few days. If problems are found, we do further testing. A specialist trained to test hearing in infants and children (audiologist) will perform the tests.
As your child grows, they will have a variety of hearing tests based on their ear health and how well they hear. Children with Treacher Collins tend to get frequent ear infections because of their abnormal middle ear.
Our ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) and audiologist will talk with you and your child about hearing management, such as:
- Whether hearing aids are needed
- How to prevent further hearing loss
- The best place to sit in the classroom when your child reaches school age
The small size of the outer ear may make it hard for your child to wear hearing aids. One option might be bone-anchored hearing aids that are attached with a tiny screw.
Your child may need a CT (computed tomography) scan to examine their middle and inner ear. We do this at about 4 to 5 years of age, when the growth of the ear is nearly complete. CT scans help doctors decide if surgery to restore hearing would be successful.