In this paper Björkenstam et al identify correlation between indicators of childhood adversity and suicide. Groups at high risk could potentially be identified through school, the healthcare system, or social services.
To this end, we wish to highlight the largely unrecognised presentation of non-organic hearing loss (NOHL) in children with underlying adversity and psychosocial pathology.
NOHL is also known as Pseudohypacusis and represents the most frequent etiology of sudden hearing loss in children (1).
Mean age at diagnosis is 11 years. Girls are affected twice as often as boys (2).
The prevalence of NOHL can be between 1 and 3% in children with suspected hearing loss (3).
A French study found that 50% of nonorganic hearing loss was likely due to events like adoption, abuse, verbal aggression and school problems (4).
In children with apparent sensorineural hearing loss, we recommend referral to an Audiovestibular Physician or an appropriate specialist for formal assessment.
1: Ioannis, P., Georgios, K., Alexandra, K. et al. Pseudohypacusis: the most frequent etiology of sudden hearing loss in children. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol (2009) 266: 1857. doi:10.1007/s00405-009-0983-y
2: Schmidt, CM, Zehnhoff-Dinnesen, A, Deuster, D. Nonorganic (functional) hearing loss in children. HNO (2013) 61: 136. doi:10.1007/s00106-012-2504-3
3: Schmidt, CM et al. Nonorganic hearing loss in children: Audiometry, clinical characteristics, biographical history and recovery of hearing thresholds. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology , (July 2013) Volume 77 , Issue 7 , 1190 – 1193 Volume 77, Issue 7, Pages 1190–1193
4: Drouillard, M. et al. Pseudohypacusis in children: Circumstances and diagnostic strategy. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology , (Oct 2014)Volume 78 , Issue 10 , 1632 - 1636
Competing interests: No competing interests