Hearing impairment and ear diseases among children of school entry age in rural South India

R. S.Phaneendra Rao, Malavika A. Subramanyam, N. Sreekumaran Nair, B. Rajashekhar

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66 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17-06-2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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