INTRODUCTION: 10% of the world population has hearing impairment. The most common association
for this neurological impairment is considered to be consanguineous marriages. Our
study aim is to find the Impact of late advice and fitting of hearing aid on the level of schooling
of special children and the rate at which consanguinity is related to congenital hearing loss.
MATERIALS & METHODS: This is a cross sectional survey conducted on special children participating
in a free ENT examination camp conducted for the special children. 50 children with
hearing impairment as the single disability were selected for the questionnaire based survey.
RESULTS: Fifty six percent children were fitted with hearing aid at the ages of 1-2 years, only
twelve percent (6 participants) were able to communicate verbally; this is when speech therapy
was also received along with a hearing aid. This had a p-value of 0.001. They also had the most
age appropriate school years.Thirty eight of the participants gave a history of consanguineous
marriage which is seventy six percent.
CONCLUSION: The children who had the diagnostic workup completed and hearing aid fitted at
2-4 years, not only did well in developing verbal communication. They also did better at school.
Another important factor in speech development is speech therapy after the fitting of Hearing
Aid. Without speech therapy the maximum benefit cannot be achieved from the hearing aid device.
The frequency of hearing impairment being associated with consanguineous marriage in
our study is seventy six percent which is even higher than the regional figures for this problem.
Hearing Aid, Consanguineous marriage, Hearing impairment, Speech therapy
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