Loss of hearing present at birth or loss that may develop later but is due to genetic causes or other influences that affected the fetus while it was in utero (in the womb).
The distinction between congenital and acquired deafness specifies only the time that the deafness appears. It does not specify whether the cause of the deafness is genetic (inherited).
Congenital deafness may or may not be genetic. For example, it may be associated with a white forelock and different colored eyes, caused by a genetic disease called Waardenburg syndrome. Congenital deafness may also be due to something such as the rubella virus to which the mother was exposed during pregnancy.
Acquired deafness may or may not be genetic. For example, it may be a manifestation of a delayed-onset form of genetic deafness. Or acquired deafness may be due to damage to the ear from noise.
- Congenital deafness and retinitis pigmentosa
Congenital deafness and retinitis pigmentosa: (Also called Usher syndrome.) A genetic disorder characterized by hearing impairment and an eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa in which vision worsens over time. Some people with Usher syndrome also have balance problems. It is the most common disease that compromises both hearing and vision. More than half of all […]
- Congenital heart disease
A malformation of the heart, aorta, or other large blood vessels that is the most frequent form of major birth defect in newborns. Abbreviated CHD. There are many types of CHD, including atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), pulmonary (valvular) stenosis, aortic stenosis, coarctation of the aorta, Tetralogy of Fallot, and transposition of […]
- Congenital hemolytic jaundice
Congenital hemolytic jaundice: Known also as hereditary spherocytosis (HS), this is a genetic disorder of the red blood cell membrane clinically characterized by anemia, jaundice (yellowing) and splenomegaly (enlargement of the spleen). In HS the red cells are smaller, rounder, and more fragile than normal. The red cells have a spherical rather than the biconcave-disk […]
- Congenital hip dislocation
Congenital hip dislocation: One of the most common birth defects, characterized by an abnormal formation of the hip joint in which the ball at the top of the thighbone (the head of the femur) is not stable within the socket (acetabulum). The ligaments of the hip joint may also be loose and stretched. The degree […]
- Congenital lymphedema
Congenital lymphedema: A condition present at birth in which excess fluid called lymph collects in tissues and causes swelling (edema) in them. Congenital lymphedema is due to a congenital malformation (that is, a birth defect) of the lymphatic system. Congenital lymphedema can be found associated with the Noonan and Turner syndromes and a number of […]