Light eye colour linked to deafness after meningitis

Cullington, Helen F. (2001) Light eye colour linked to deafness after meningitis. British Medical Journal, 322, (7282), 587-587.


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People with light eyes are more prone to deafness after meningitis than those with dark eyes

Bacterial meningitis is the most common cause of profound deafness acquired in childhood. Previously there have been no strong indicators of why some survivors of meningitis experience hearing loss whereas others recover fully.

The link between pigmentation and damage to hearing after exposure to ototoxic substances and noise is well documented. People with brown eyes are more likely to experience hearing loss after exposure to cisplatin. It is assumed that people with dark eyes also have more melanin in the inner ear than those with light eyes, and melanin causes the retention of ototoxic derivatives within the cochlea.1 A higher melanin content in the cochlea also protects against the effects of noise; those with dark eyes are less likely to develop hearing loss associated with noise.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > RF Otorhinolaryngology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Institute of Sound and Vibration Research > Human Sciences
ePrint ID: 10562
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:20

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