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Ann Trop Paediatr. 2003 Jun;23(2):121-8.

Hearing impairment in children with impacted cerumen.

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Institute of Child Health & Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.


The aim of this study was to determine whether children in whom impacted cerumen had been removed were at greater risk of hearing impairment than those without a history of impacted cerumen. A retrospective study was conducted in 113 subjects and their pair-matched controls taken from a population of 359 randomly selected school entrants who received otoscopic, audiometric and tympanometric evaluations. It was found that children from whom impacted cerumen had been removed were more likely to have hearing loss (p = 0.0001), and of a more permanent nature (p = 0.002). They were also likely to have more otitis media with effusion (OME) (p = 0.045). Children with a history of impacted cerumen are therefore at greater risk of subsequent hearing problems and of a more permanent nature than those without, notwithstanding the removal of such impacted cerumen. The prevention of cerumen impaction should be of significant public health concern in the management of hearing impairment in children, especially where there is no routine and systematic screening for hearing disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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