What to Expect at Your First Visit for Genetic Testing for Hearing Loss
It can feel overwhelming to learn that genetics may be the cause of your child's hearing loss.
About 30% of children with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) have a genetic syndrome as a part of their hearing loss. This disorder is a combination of medical conditions that occur together and have a single cause. Genetic testing identifies many of these genetic disorders.
Once you understand the genetic syndrome that causes your child's hearing loss (and possibly other health conditions), you can take the first step in treating and managing it so they can live a full and healthy life.
Clinical geneticists are doctors with special training in finding the causes of disorders like hearing loss. Genetic counselors are trained to explain genetic information to families like yours. ENTs (ear nose throat doctors, also known as otorhinolaryngologists) are doctors who specialize in conditions related to the head and neck. You may meet with a geneticist, genetic counselor, or ENT to discuss genetic testing options for you and your family related to hearing loss.
Genetic testing can help you:
- Identify the exact cause of your child's hearing loss
- Reduce or eliminate the need for other invasive and costly medical tests
- Provide you with information about your child's future hearing and other factors
- Help you and your child's pediatrician decide the best treatment and long-term medical management for your child
- Explain your chances of having another child with hearing loss
Making an Appointment for Genetic Testing for Hearing Loss
To make an appointment, contact the Ear and Hearing Center.
For international patients, please fill out and send this online form. A staff member will contact you within 48 hours.
To refer a patient for genetic counseling or evaluation, contact the Division of Human Genetics.
How to Prepare for Your First Visit for Genetic Testing for Hearing Loss
We recommend checking with your insurance company about your coverage before your first visit. Most insurance plans, including Medicaid, reimburse genetic testing. But, you are responsible for all copays and deductibles. All genetic tests for hearing loss will be pre-certified before testing.
On the Day of Your First Visit for Genetic Testing for Hearing Loss
Please let us know if you or your child have any concerns or special needs that will make your visit more comfortable.
Arriving at Your Appointment
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is located near downtown Cincinnati. Whether you are coming to our Burnet Campus or one of our neighborhood locations, our visiting section can help guide you.
We recommend you arrive about 30 minutes early. This allows you time to park, find our office, and register for your first visit. If you'll be more than 30 minutes late, please contact us to let us know.
At Your Appointment
During your first visit, the team will review your child's medical history. They'll also review your pregnancy history and family history. The geneticist will examine your child to check for any signs of a genetic syndrome related to hearing loss. The team also may order other tests and a follow-up visit to discuss test results. We'll need a small blood sample (or other tissue) for analysis.
After Your First Visit for Genetic Testing for Hearing Loss
After genetic testing has been completed, the results will be communicated to you either over the phone or in a follow up appointment. Depending on the testing results, your child may be referred to other providers for further discussion, evaluation or additional genetic testing.