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Born deaf, on biliteral Cochlear Implants, diagnosed with ADHD. Is being deaf and ADHD a chemical imbalance ?

I am 20 years old, and currently hearing impaired with biliteral Cochlear Implants. I was born deaf, I am also diagnosed with ADHD . All my life I have been left out of the world in other words, I never did understand everything around me. I started smoking weed, and when I did I noticed I was able to understand a book while being high. Could there be some chemical imbalance that myself and people are me are not aware of? If being deaf AND adhd is a chemical imbalance, then I must be missing certain ways my thoughts triggers compared to a normal person s.
Asked On : Thu, 23 Aug 2012
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ENT Specialist 's  Response
Dear Magannorville

Hello I am Dr Ravinder Sharma. On the basis of information provided it appears that you have deafness and ADHD and you had cochlear implant done for deafness.
Deafness can be congenital and can be attributed to a variety of causes ranging from antenatal period( infection during first trimester, exposure to ototoxic drug first trimester of pregnancy) at birth (difficult delivery, delayed cry, prematurity) or in postnatal period (Jaundice, Infection, ICU stay ). After complete work up still there is a group where we can’t label a cause of deafness—called a idiopathic. This has got genetic association. Quite a good number of studies show this association to specific gene sequences contributing to deafness
There are several theories to explain cause of ADHD . To name a few are – genetic and hormonal imbalance—linked to dopamine. Some studies have suggested variation in DRD4 gene (associated with dopamine receptor in brain) in some patients of ADHD
At times the behavior and responses of a child with deafness may be misinterpreted as ADHD. Best approach for such cases require Otolaryngology consultation, Pediatrician consultation and a Psychiatry consultation to come down to a clear picture.

Smoking weed improves alertness but then it has addiction potential and harmful. There are other better ways of improving alertness.

As of now it is appropriate to say that ADHD and congenital deafness are two differnt diseases. Some of the cases of deafness may have ADHD too. A team approch for managing such cases is the key.

I hope this answers your concerns. Feel free to contact me if you want further information about it
With regards
Ravinder Sharma
Professor ENT & Head and Neck Surgery
Answered: Thu, 23 Aug 2012
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