Objective: To find out the prevalence and causes of hearing impairment among children of school-entry age, in rural areas of coastal south India. Methods: The study adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines viz., 'The Prevalence of Ear and Hearing Disorders Protocol'. A total of 855 children studying in the first year of school were examined using a Portable Pure Tone Audiometer and an Otoscope. Children with hearing impairment were re-examined to find out the type of hearing impairment. Mothers of all children were interviewed in their homes, in order to obtain details of socio-economic status, family history and history of consanguinity. Results: Hearing impairment was detected in 102 children (11.9%) and impacted wax was found to be the most common cause of hearing impairment (86.3%). On re-testing, it was predominantly conductive hearing impairment (81.6%) observed among 74 of these children. The prevalence of hearing impairment was significantly lower among children belonging to high socio-economic status (P=0.0036). Conclusions: Hearing impairment and preventable ear diseases were found to be important health problems among children of school-entry age group in this region. Regular screening of children of school-entry age will ensure that children begin their school-life without this disability.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology|
|Publication status||Published - 17-06-2002|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health