Childhood OM and Adult Hearing Loss
Aarhus et al (2015) report some 33,000 children were tested through pure-tone audiometry in Norway, and re-tested between ages 20 to 56 years. Of those 33,000 children, 3,066 children were reported to have hearing loss. Of note, otitis media with effusion (OME) was diagnosed in 1,255 children, chronic supparative otitis media (CSOM) was diagnosed in 108, and recurrent acute otitis media (rAOM) was diagnosed in 613 children.
Aarhus et al report that as adults, those who experienced OM had a greater likelihood of having hearing loss. They report that OME was determined to reduce thresholds across the entire pure-tone spectrum by 2 dB, CSOM reduced thresholds by 17 to 20 dB, and rAOM reduced thresholds by 7 to 10 dB.
The authors state that the long-term impact of OM on adult hearing thresholds underscores the benefit of timely and efficient “optimal treatment” for otitis media, and they report that “CSOM and rAOM in childhood are associated with adult hearing loss….”
For More information, References, and Recommendations
Aarhus L, Tambs K, Kvestad E, Engdahl B. (2015) Childhood Otitis Media: A Cohort Study With 30-Year Follow-Up of Hearing (The HUNT Study). Ear & Hearing 36(3):302-308.