To report the prevalence of hearing problems and the hearing sequelae in school-aged children with trisomy 21 in a longitudinal study.Design:
All children with trisomy 21 were identified via schools, community-based child development centres, general practitioners, or the universal newborn hearing screen. Audiological data and otorhinolaryngological problems were prospectively entered in to the Audiological Surveillance Programme database from each visit.Setting:
Retrospective review of the Audiological Surveillance Programme database in the Glasgow area (United Kingdom) of all children reviewed between 2004 and 2012.Participants:
All pre-teenaged children with trisomy 21 of school age (aged 5–12 years old).Main outcome measures:
Hearing thresholds, aetiology of hearing loss and management of hearing loss was determined for the cohort of children.Results:
A total of 102 children were included. Fifty-four had normal hearing. Twenty-six had fluctuating otitis media with effusion; five had hearing in normal limits, six were managed with hearing aids, fourteen were managed conservatively, and one had ventilation tube insertion. Fifteen had persistent otitis media with effusion; four had ventilation tube insertion; and nine were managed with hearing aids. Seven had mixed hearing loss with four required hearing aids.Conclusions:
Otitis media with effusion was the commonest cause of hearing impairment; effusions may fluctuate through the pre-teenaged years, and thus, hearing aids are beneficial. Ventilation tube insertion and bone-conducting hearing aids were useful when ear-level hearing aids were not tolerated. Mixed hearing loss occurred in later years as sensorineural hearing loss developed on a background of otitis media with effusion.