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Newborn Screening Ontario
Expanded Hearing Screening

cCMV and Hearing Loss

Congenital CMV infection is the most common cause of non-hereditary hearing loss in children.  It is estimated that cCMV infection accounts for ~25% of hearing loss in chlidren by the age of 4 years. 

It is unknown why the virus causes hearing impairment in some children but not others.  The chance of developing sensorineural hearing loss with cCMV infection is 30-50% for symptomatic children and 8-12% for asymptomatic children.

The hearing loss associated with cCMV infection can:

  • affect one or both ears
  • affect some or all pitches
  • be mild to severe
  • be congenital or present later
  • be progressive and fluctuating

The Infant Hearing Program (IHP) has guidelines in place for children confirmed to have cCMV:

  • Children with cCMV who have confirmed hearing loss will be assessed at least every 3 months for the first year, every 6 months for the second year, and once a year afterwards by IHP audiology
  • Children with cCMV who have a normal hearing assessment will be assessed every 4 months for the first year, then at 18 months, 3 years and 5 years by IHP audiology.