Association of Pediatric Hearing Loss and Head Injury in a Population-Based Study

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021 Sep;165(3):455-457. doi: 10.1177/0194599820982904. Epub 2021 Jan 26.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of acquired long-term disability during childhood, and it may result in wide range of negative developmental consequences. Auditory dysfunction is generally recognized to be a possible sequela of pediatric TBI. Unfortunately, few contemporary studies have quantified the association between head injury and hearing loss in the pediatric population. The National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) for the combined years 2017-2018 was used to determine the association of hearing loss with TBI. Deafness or problems with hearing were more commonly reported in children with a history or current brain injury/concussion compared to those without any such history (3.2% [70,000] and 1.2% [830,000] children, respectively; odds ratio, 2.67; P < .001). Findings suggest a notable association between TBI and hearing loss. Children with a history of TBI are 2.67 times more likely to have concurrent hearing complaints.Level of Evidence: IV.

Keywords: head injury; hearing loss; traumatic brain injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / complications*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • United States / epidemiology