A Longitudinal Study of Hearing and Middle Ear Status in Individuals With UCLP

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Abstract

Objective

To define the age when the higher prevalence of abnormal middle ear dissipates in individuals with cleft lip and palate and to investigate how this may affect hearing sensitivity over time.

Study Design

Retrospective and prospective cohort study.

Setting

University hospital.

Patients

Three groups of individuals with unilateral cleft lip and palate from the same cleft center: 1) a group of individuals followed longitudinally from 1 to 5 years of age (n = 22), 2) another group of individuals followed longitudinally from 7 to 16 years of age (n = 24), and 3) a group which encompasses young adults between 20 and 31 years of age (n = 26).

Main Outcomes Measure(s)

Abnormal middle ear status and hearing sensitivity.

Results

The prevalence of abnormal middle ear status decreases as the individuals within the 3 groups age from 89% at age 1 year to 10% in young adulthood. Hearing statistically improved as children became older up to 13 years of age and then worsened in the high frequencies between 16 and 20 to 31 years of age.

Conclusion

There is a high prevalence of abnormal middle ear status in individuals with cleft lip and palate. This higher prevalence of abnormal middle ear status may lead to poorer high-frequency hearing, which could potentially lead to challenges in academics and difficulties understanding speech in social situations. Further investigation into these, the prevalence of abnormal middle ear status and hearing in comparison to a control group is warranted.

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