The short answer is yes, hearing loss can be hereditary. You can develop hearing loss from unsafe exposure to noise and as a result of aging, but there are genetic factors that make some more prone to hearing loss than others. In fact, there are over 400 genetic causes for hearing loss! These 400 genetic causes can be inherited in one of four different ways:
1. Autosomal Dominate
This type of hearing loss occurs when you’ve inherited a gene mutation from one parent.
2. Autosomal Recessive
This type of hearing loss occurs when you’ve inherited two gene mutations, one from the mother and one from the father.
3. X-linked Recessive
This hearing-loss gene occurs specifically on the X chromosome, and males are more likely to have this type of hereditary hearing loss.
This type of hereditary gene can only be inherited from the mother.
If you suspect that your family has a hearing-loss gene, consult your family doctor who may refer to a genetic counselor. They may recommend molecular testing to analyze your DNA and an audiometry screening to determine how you process auditory information. Early detection of hearing loss in children is essential to their cognitive development.