Long-term hearing deficits after childhood middle ear disease.


OBJECTIVES To investigate the long-term impact of childhood otitis media on listening ability in school-aged children. DESIGN Speech perception in background noise was measured in two groups of 35 children, aged 6 to 12 years, with normal middle ear function and sound detection at assessment. The first consisted of children who had previously suffered middle ear disease; the second those with no history of middle ear disease. RESULTS Binaural speech perception ability was significantly poorer in the children with prior middle ear disease. Furthermore, spatial listening (the ability to selectively attend to a sound signal from one location) was also significantly impaired. Significant correlations were demonstrated between both the age of onset and the duration of childhood otitis media and speech perception ability (onset: r = -0.58, p < 0.001; duration: r = -0.63, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS These results demonstrate the risk of long-term functional hearing deficit for children with middle ear disease history in childhood. They also indicate that this risk is increased with earlier onset and longer duration. The findings highlight the need for early intervention and an awareness of the potential for reduced functional listening ability even after sound detection has returned to normal.

DOI: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000065

Cite this paper

@article{Tomlin2014LongtermHD, title={Long-term hearing deficits after childhood middle ear disease.}, author={Dani Tomlin and Gary Rance}, journal={Ear and hearing}, year={2014}, volume={35 6}, pages={e233-42} }