Mayo Clinic: Promising treatment options may help child to hear

  • Written by Mayo Clinic

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Our 2-month-old son was just diagnosed with total deafness. Initially there was a 50 percent hearing loss in one ear, but after two months we were told he cannot hear at all. What could cause hearing loss in an infant? Is there any hope, such as promising clinical trials, that he may someday hear?

ANSWER: Finding out a child is deaf can be very difficult for families, and deciding what to do can be tough. Although there is no way to restore natural hearing, promising treatment options may help a child to hear.

A variety of causes can lead to hearing loss in infants. Babies born prematurely are at a higher risk for hearing loss than other infants. Some infections during pregnancy may lead to hearing problems in babies. For unknown reasons, the structure of the ear may not develop normally early in pregnancy. Also, many genes are necessary for normal hearing, and many abnormalities can result in hearing loss. Although testing can identify some causes of hearing loss, determining why an individual child has hearing loss is not always possible.

Right now, there are few clinical trials designed to treat or cure newborn hearing loss. One trial that is currently ongoing uses stem cells in an effort to remedy hearing loss. But the results of that study are only preliminary, and the treatment is not readily available at this time.

Health Scan


Blood pressure checks: Orland Twp.

  Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., will hold free blood pressure screenings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Fridays, Jan. 17, Feb. 7 and March 7. No appointment is necessary. (403-4222.)

Podiatry screenings

  Orland Township is hosting free podiatry screenings on Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

A local podiatrist will be at Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., conducting free examinations to all participating residents. Call Orland Township at 403-4222 to make an appointment.

Total lipid testing at Orland Twp.

  Orland Township will hold total lipid profile testing on Jan. 16, Feb. 20 and March 20, from 8:30 to 11 a.m., at 14807 S. Ravinia Ave.

Residents may have total cholesterol levels read, as well as triglycerides, LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). A 9- to 12-hour fast is required; however, participants should drink water prior to the lipid test.

The price of the test is $25 for residents. Non-residents may also participate for $30. Free blood pressure and glucose testing for an additional $5 ($10 for non-residents) are also available on this day. An appointment is necessary and participants must bring proof of residency on the day of testing.

To make an appointment, call 403-4222.

Body contouring after weight loss

  Palos Community Hospital is offering a free presentation by Orland Park board-certified Plastic Surgeon Jerry Chow, M.D., on body contouring after major weight loss.

During the presentation, Dr. Chow will discuss surgical methods including the 360-degree body lift and show how women can transform their appearance.

This program will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at Palos Health & Fitness Center, 15430 West Ave., Orland Park. Registration required; call 226-2300.

Palos Community Hospital class helps smokers quit

  To help smokers quit, Palos Community Hospital is offering the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking’s eight-week program for adults who are ready to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to improve the length and quality of his or her life. Research shows that people who participate in stop-smoking programs with a support system have greater success, compared to those who try to quit on their own.

This program will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursdays, Jan. 16 through Feb. 27. One additional class will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The program will take place at the Palos Primary Care Center, 15300 West Ave., Orland Park. The cost of the program is $99. To register, call 226-2300.


The Wine Guy: The miseducation of a malnourished culture

Best of The Wine Guy by Anthony Scarano

   Among the keys to maintaining good health are being properly nourished and effectively eliminating waste from the body. The best way to accomplish both of these is to eat simple, natural foods; in other words, the ones our creator put here to provide us sustenance.

Fruits and vegetables should make up the vast majority of the human diet. This misleading idea that we need meat for protein and iron is a myth propagated by people who know little about nutrition or have a vested interest in selling meat. A person can get all the necessary protein from beans, lentils and legumes without ever consuming a scrap of meat.

But back to my point, fruits and vegetables — the more raw the better, as long as your digestive system can handle the rawness — provide a plethora of vitamins and minerals as well as the fiber one needs to move waste through and out of the bowels. Chew your food slowly to properly mash it and prepare it for digestion. The better it is chewed the easier it will be for the sponge-like stomach and intestines to digest, the better the nutrients will be able to be absorbed, and the better your bowels will be cleansed as it works its way through.

Cholesterol screening at Palos Township

Palos Township Health Service will hold a cholesterol screening on from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 21.

  A total cholesterol screening is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. This test tells only the total cholesterol value. Fasting is preferred.
  The Cholestech test tells the total value, the high density, the low density, the triglyceride value, and the ratios as well as glucose values. Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the test. A fee of $35 is charged for residents and $45 for non-residents.
  A Hemoglobin A1C test can be performed for diabetics which reflects the average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. No fasting is required for this test. The fee is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents.
  All fees are cash only. Call the Health Service to schedule an appointment at 708-598-2441. All screenings are done at Palos Township at 10802 South Roberts Road in Palos Hills.