Ear disease affects more than 50% of children younger than 7 years in Limpopo

Mukovhe Chad Phanguphangu


More than 50% of children younger than 7 years in this study were diagnosed with ear disease. Commonly identified ears diseases included ear infections, wax blockage in the ear canal, and ruptured ear drums. Furthermore, although not significant, younger children were at a higher risk to develop ear infections that can cause temporary hearing loss, which, when left untreated, can lead to permanent hearing loss.


When ear diseases are not detected and treated soon enough, these children may develop hearing loss, which can lead to poor speech and language development, which translates to poor development of reading and writing abilities and consequently leading to poor scholastic performance and academic achievement. In addition, kids with ear disease tend to be bullied by their hearing peers, leading to social isolation, depression and behavioral problems later on in life. In addition, since these kids may have poor academic outcomes, it may also be difficult for them to find jobs in the long run, leading to poor economic activity and dependency on social security.

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Author Comments

This paper highlights the need for timeous identification and treatment of these ear diseases as their impact can be lifelong and detrimental to the quality of life for these kids. Doing this study was, therefore, a great challenge as it draws society’s attention to the importance of taking care of hearing health in children which is one of the areas that seem to be neglected yet it is an issue that touches every single human being on this planet in one way or another. More than anything else, and if nothing else, I hope you find this article thought-provoking and very illuminating Mukovhe Chad Phanguphangu


Link to full article

Otoscopic examinations reveal high prevalence of outer and middle ear pathologies in paediatrics in Limpopo, South Africa.

Int J Audiol 2017 04 26;56(4):215-218. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

a Department of Clinical and Paediatric Audiology , Pietersburg Provincial Academic Hospital , Polokwane , South Africa ; and.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of outer and middle ear pathologies in paediatrics in Limpopo, South Africa.

Design: Cross-sectional retrospective review of otoscopy results obtained during a school health screening campaign conducted between March and June 2015. Descriptive statistics through percentages and frequency tables were used to analyse the data. Logistic regression was used to determine associations between age, gender and pathologies observed.

Study Sample: Medical folders of 1089 pupils.

Results: Forty-nine percent had normal otoscopy results. A significant 36% (n = 392) had impacted cerumen. Furthermore, 45% of those with impacted cerumen were bilaterally impacted. Additionally, 4% presented with foreign bodies and a further 8% had otitis externa and otitis media. The remaining 3% had tympanic membrane perforations. The odds of developing outer and middle ear pathologies were higher in pupils below 6 years of age (p = 0.046).

Conclusion: This study highlights a high prevalence of outer and middle ear pathologies in paediatrics in Limpopo and therefore recommends comprehensive baseline and periodic screenings; to identify children with outer and middle ear pathologies and need further management, and consequently prevent the complications of these pathologies. Additionally, this report highlights a rising need for large-scale research to provide comprehensive analysis of these pathologies.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2016.1244868DOI Listing
April 2017
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