Permanent Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL) and Childhood Development

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Purpose of Review: The aim of this study is to summarize the consequences of permanent unilateral hearing loss (UHL) on the development of children as documented in the recent literature. Recent Findings: Congenital and early-identified UHL places young children at risk for delays in speech-language development. School-aged children with UHL score lower on standardized tests of language and cognition and need increased assistance in school for educational and behavioral issues than siblings with normal hearing, and report lower hearing-related quality of life, similar to children with bilateral hearing loss (HL). Early intervention, including use of hearing amplification devices, might ameliorate some of those affects. For a child with mild to severe UHL at presentation, the risk of progression of HL in the worse-hearing ear may be as high as 40%, and the risk of progression to bilateral HL approaches 20%. Summary: Although UHL can adversely affect the development of children, how to mitigate those effects requires investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Otorhinolaryngology Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Children
  • Cognition
  • Executive functions
  • Quality of life
  • Speech and language
  • Unilateral hearing loss


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