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J Speech Hear Disord. 1990 May;55(2):339-44.

Hyperacusis and otitis media in individuals with Williams syndrome.

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Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.


Williams syndrome is characterized by cardiac defects, varying degrees of physical and developmental delay, stellate eye pattern, possible elevated serum calcium level, and elfin/pixie facial features. A problem perhaps unique to these children is hyperacusis that can be severe enough to disrupt many routine daily activities. Parental questionnaires were used to determine the prevalence of hyperacusis and otitis media in individuals with Williams syndrome. Prevalences of 95% for hyperacusis and 61% for otitis media were found. This was significantly higher than in the general population. Despite the prevalence of hyperacusis, parents of these children were not counseled about management of the problem. The audiologist may become involved with Williams syndrome patients through hearing assessment and management, parental counseling, and research.

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