Hearing loss in young adults who had ventilation tube insertion in childhood.
SourceAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, 113, 6, (2004), pp. 438-44
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
SubjectEBP 1: Determinants in Health and Disease; UMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology; UMCN 3.3: Neurosensory disorders
It is known that insertion of ventilation tubes can cause damage to the tympanic membrane and hearing deterioration in the long-term. To investigate long-term effects of recurrent otitis media and of ventilation tube insertion, we used a study group (n = 358 subjects), with or without a history of otitis media and/or ventilation tube insertion, derived from a birth cohort that had been followed for 16 years. At 18 years of age, a standardized audiometric and otoscopic examination was performed. We found that ventilation tube insertion in childhood was associated with a mean persistent hearing loss in young adults of about 5 to 10 dB at the group level with a sensorineural component of 3 to 4 dB. This hearing loss could not be explained by the disease load of otitis media in childhood. Repeated insertions of ventilation tubes caused a greater deterioration of hearing than did a single insertion. Structural changes of the tympanic membrane were a mediating factor in the causal relationship between ventilation tube insertion and hearing loss. We conclude that ventilation tube insertion in childhood may induce hearing deterioration in the long-term.
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