A prospective study of ocular abnormalities in hearing impaired and deaf students

Ear Nose Throat J. 1992 Dec;71(12):643-6, 651.


In a prospective study of 505 hearing impaired and deaf students conducted at Children's Hospital Eye Clinic, 48.7% were found to have significant ocular abnormalities. The prevalence of myopia, astigmatism, and pathological intraocular changes was found to be significantly increased over the general population. In addition, the prevalence of ocular abnormalities generally increased with the severity of the hearing loss. Of importance was the high prevalence of rubella-consistent abnormalities in the hearing impaired and deaf student populations. Rubella syndrome may be responsible for a major portion of high refractive errors and ocular pathological changes. It is recommended that ENT specialists and pediatricians be aware of the nearly 50% chance of ocular abnormality in hearing impaired and deaf students, and that ophthalmologic examination may be valuable for identification or confirmation of the etiology of hearing impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Deafness / complications*
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / complications*
  • Hearing Disorders / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refractive Errors / complications*
  • Refractive Errors / etiology