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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1990 Sep;20(1):51-62.

The preventive value of audiometric screening of preschool and young school-children.

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  • 1Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Orebro Medical Center Hospital, Sweden.


The routine to screen 4- and 7-year-old children with audiometry has been studied with regard to its preventive value. Out of 2,330 4-year-olds, 27 children with secretory otitis media (SOM) were treated with myringotomy and 9 of these with grommets as a consequence of identification by screening. One child with unilateral, sensorineural impairment received special teacher's assistance 2 h per week as a consequence of identification by screening. When the same children were screened at the age of 7, 6 children with SOM were treated with myringotomy after identification by screening audiometry. Children with SOM at the age of 4 had impaired hearing at the age of 7, identified by screening, 4 times more frequently than other children. The study suggests that audiometric screening in Sweden does not have important preventive effects on hearing impairments or on sequelae of auditory deprivation.

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