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Audiology. 1991;30(2):91-101.

Binaural masking level differences in children with a history of otitis media.

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University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, UK.


The binaural hearing of children with and without a history of otitis media (OM) was assessed by determining their binaural masking level differences (BMLDs). The test was also administered to a group of adults. BMLDs for the non-OM children were not significantly different from those of adults. However the mean BMLD of the OM children was significantly lower than that of non-OM children. Some children in the OM group had small (15-25 dB HL) sensitivity deficits in one or both ears. However, no correlation was found between BMLD and hearing level in cases of either symmetric or asymmetric loss. Exclusion of OM children with residual middle ear abnormalities did not abolish the significant difference between the OM and non-OM groups. We suggest that the small BMLDs in the OM group may be associated with these children having difficulties detecting and attending to signals in noisy environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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