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J Pediatr. 1988 Sep;113(3):581-7.

Impact of recurrent otitis media on middle ear function, hearing, and language.

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Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University, Nashiville, TN 37232.


Whether recurrent otitis media in infants and young children is followed by delayed language development was addressed by following 210 normal subjects longitudinally through the first 2 years of life with pneumatic otoscopy and tympanometry performed at every physician encounter. Otitis accounted for 26% of the medical visits. One hundred fifty-six of these children had speech and hearing evaluation at 2 years of age. Thirty percent of the children with recurrent otitis media had a mild or moderate hearing loss. However, after multiple speech and language tests, we could not identify a delay in language acquisition in the otitis-prone children. At 3 to 4 years old, 36 children, including nine with a hearing loss at 2 years of age, were retested; all nine had normal hearing. Recurrent otitis media induced a temporary decrease in hearing sensitivity demonstrable at 2 years of age, which appeared to resolve as the children matured and which was not associated with delay in language acquisition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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