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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1995 Apr;32(1):23-34.

A survey of ear and hearing disorders amongst a representative sample of grade 1 schoolchildren in Swaziland.

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Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


A representative sample of Grade 1 (first year school entry) schoolchildren in Swaziland were surveyed during a single week to determine the prevalence of ear and hearing disorders: 79.8% had both normal ears and normal hearing, 16.8% had an ear disorder, but 80% of them had normal hearing. The most common disorder was impacted wax, with a prevalence rate of 74/1000. Middle ear disorders were common and the prevalence rate for children with active middle ear disease was 30/1000 (17/1000 having a hearing loss), and for children with inactive ear disease, the prevalence was 21/1000 (5/1000 having a hearing loss); 8/1000 children were found to have a sensorineural hearing loss, 5.3/1000 unilateral and 2.1/1000 bilateral. Improved treatment of acute otitis media, which is also common in the pre-school age group, could reduce the sequelae of the disorder, which has a deleterious effect on hearing and impairs educational achievement once the children enrol at school.

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