Hearing Impairment Among Preschool Children as Detected by Transient-Evoked Otoacoustic Emission Test and Tympanometry
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Objective: Hearing impairment is one of the most common disorders of childhood. The earlier children with hearing loss are identified, the better the prognosis for habilitation and remediation. For this reason many tests are being used, such as Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (TEOAE), Pure Tone Audyometry (PTA) and Auditory Brainstem Responses (ABR). This study is the first in Turkey using TEOAE and tympanometry among preschool aged population as a first-stage hearing screen. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was done in 1,096 preschool children in Sivas city of Turkey. Subjects were tested (TEOAE and tympanometry) individually in non-sound treated rooms within each school. The Chi-squared test was used to examine the association between variables. A P-value less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: Type B tympanograms were found in 180 (16.4%); Type C tympanograms were obtained in 6 children (0.6%), whilst the remaining 887 children (80.9%) displayed type A tympanograms. TEOAE screening, 883 (80.6%) passed and required no further follow-up. A total of 180 (16.4%) "Referred" on this screening. Hearing impairment among pre-school children was 2.8%. Conductive hearing loss was found in 1.9% of children and a sensorineural hearing loss was found in 0.9% of the children screened. Hearing impairment increases with age and this increase is statistically significant by the chi-square (Linear by Linear Association) test (P = 0.036). Conclusions: The results of this study should be valuable for planning actions in the prevention of hearing impairment and for raising awareness of the subject in the community and in government agencies.