J Postgrad Med 2004;50:178-179
Loss of hearing, very early in life, can affect the development of speech and language, social and emotional development, and influence behaviour and academic achievement. The critical or sensitive period for the acquisition of language extends from 1 to 5 years of age. However, impairment of hearing commencing after 5 years of age can also have serious consequences. Ninety-five per cent of school children suffer from middle-ear disease, sometime in the first 10 years of their life. Otorrhoea and multiple ear infections are the risk factors associated with loss of hearing in this age group.