Objectives: To carry out otoscopic and audiologic examinations amongst pre-school children in Ogbomoso, Nigeria in order to identify any cases of hearing loss and to intervene where possible.
Study design and setting: Prospective audiologic evaluations of children in Nursery I and II (pre-kindergarten and kindergarten) in both private and public primary schools were carried out.
Methods: One hundred and one children (202 ears) were screened using otoscopy and pure tone audiometry.
Results: The age ranged from 3.5 to 6 years, mean age was 4.8 years (S.D. = 0.835), with a male population of 55 and 46 females (M:F ratio, 1.2:1). Otoscopic findings revealed normal findings (106) 52.4%, impacted cerumen auris, 44 (21.8%), otitis media with effusion, (28) 13.9%, perforated tympanic membrane, 24 (11.9%) and giving an otoscopic pass rate of 52.4%. Screening audiometry, on the other hand, recorded a pass rate of 78.7%. After 6-8 weeks of otolaryngologic intervention, the otoscopic pass rate improved to 88.6%, while the pass rate for screening audiometry also improved to 93.6%.
Conclusion/significance: From the study, an otoscopic pass rate of 52.9% and screening audiometry pass rate of 78.7% increased to 88.6% and 93.6%, respectively, through basic otolaryngologic interventions. The key roles played in identifying ear diseases with or without hearing impairments with the use of clinical examination (otoscopy) and audiologic evaluation in the pre-school age children has been highlighted in the study. Unfortunately, these evaluations are not performed routinely in children enrolled in both private and public primary schools in Ogbomoso, Nigeria. We advocate that the routine otoscopic examinations with screening audiometry be made available in all primary schools, in order to facilitate early detection and prompt rehabilitation of children with ear diseases and hearing impairment.
Keywords: Hearing screening; Nigeria; Otoscopy; Pre-school.
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