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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 80-83

A study of audiological profile of children with cerebral palsy

1 Department of Audiology, Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, K. C. Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Physiology, Grant Medical College and Sir J. J. Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad Shamim Ansari
Lecturer (Speech & Hearing), Department of Audiology, Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, K. C. Marg, Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-4264.173436

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Background: Hearing is critical for the full development of language skills. Even a mild hearing impairment can interfere with speech and language development. Hearing impairment has the highest incidence rate for any pediatric disability, since several risk factors in infants with cerebral palsy (CP) are the same risk factors to develop hearing impairment. Thus, it should come as no surprise that hearing impairment occurs more frequently among children with cerebral palsy than in the general population. Recent studies have shown that up to 25% of children with cerebral palsy also suffer from a hearing impairment. However, no data of hearing impairment in cerebral palsy is available in India. Objective: The goal of this study was to determine the frequency and profile of hearing impairment in children with cerebral palsy. Methodology: This was a retrospective study involving 117 children of 2-10 years of age of both genders who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The audiometry, tympanometry, otoacoustic emission, and auditory brain stem response hearing tests were employed to categorize the hearing impairment. Results: Hearing impairment was observed in 39% of children. Sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing impairment was present in 48%, 41%, and 31% of the children, respectively. Among them, there was mild, moderate, and severe degree of hearing impairment in 52%, 26%, and 22% of the children with cerebral palsy, respectively. Conclusions: Prevalence of hearing impairment in children with cerebral palsy is alarming. This warrants early identification and diagnosis of hearing impairment, especially for medically treatable forms of hearing impairment such as secretory otitis media, Eustachian tube dysfunction, and presence of wax. This early identification may facilitate better development of speech and language as well as positive outcomes. Therefore audiological assessment should be incorporated into the diagnostic and therapeutic plan of all children with cerebral palsy.

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