Screening for auditory impairment in resource-poor countries

J Postgrad Med 2004;50:178-179

Rai S, Puliyel JM

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.[1] 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.[2] Otorrhoea and multiple ear infections are the risk factors associated with loss of hearing in this age group.[3]