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Original Article


Age at Diagnosis of Hearing Impairment in Deaf Children Attending Special Schools in South India
Kavitha Ashok Kumar1Dominic Mathew2Sudeepta Hemraj2Ashok Kumar Jeppu1
1International Medical School Management and Science university Malaysia, 2Father Muller Medical College Mangalore India
Corresponding Author:

Ashok Kumar Jeppu

International Medical School Management and Science university Malaysia
E-mail: drashokkumarj@gmail.com

Corresponding Author:

Ashok Kumar Jeppu

International Medical School Management and Science university Malaysia
E-mail: drashokkumarj@gmail.com

ABSTRACT


Background: Congenital hearing loss is estimated to be 1–6/1000 live births. In India, it is reported to be 5.6/1000 live births. The Joint Committee on Infant Screening 2007 recommends that all newborns be screened for hearing loss by 1 month of age, have diagnostic follow-up by 3 months, and receive appropriate intervention by 6 months of age. Objective: This descriptive study was conducted to determine the age at diagnosis of hearing impairment in deaf children and determine the factors affecting it in South India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conductedon children with hearing impairment (bilateral profound hearing loss) attending 10special schools in Southern India.The cluster sampling technique was used to collect the data. Result: Our study involved 273 children in the age group of 3–22 years. We found that the mean age at diagnosis of hearing impairment was 23.03 (±3.696 SD) months while the mean age at suspicion of hearing impairment in these children was 13.70 (±2.13 SD) months.The various factors responsible for the delay in diagnosis were financial constraints, influenced by friends and family, fear, and anxiety. The treatment-seeking behavior among the parents, lack of awareness of clear guidelines among the medical fraternity,and absence of awarenessof this problem among the general public also contributed to the delay.
Keywords: Hearing loss, Age at diagnosis.

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