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Otoscopic and audiological findings in different populations of 5-14 year-old schoolchildren in Colombia.

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol; 79(7): 993-7, 2015 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25935508


To present the otoscopic and audiological findings of studies carried out in groups of 5-14 year old schoolchildren in diverse indigenous, White, and African descended communities in the Republic of Colombia.


The present study is descriptive and cross-sectional. We obtained a convenience sample for the analysis. We define acute otitis media (AOM), (bulging or redness); tympanic perforation (TP), (disruption of continuity in the tympanic membrane) and sequelea (scarring, myringosclerosis, retractions, secrections). Our results are described as frequencies in percentages. Audiometry was performed in every student. Readings were taken at 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, and 8000 Hz for air-conduction and bone-conduction thresholds. Normal hearing is considered up to 20 dB, mild sensorineural hearing loss between 21 and 39 dB, moderate between 40 and 59 dB, severe between 60 and 89 dB and profound more than 90 dB. For conductive hearing loss the air-bone gap is measured.


3052 otoscopies were conducted in 1526 schoolchildren. Males predominated in each group except in the Wayuu group. Otoscopic abnormalities rates varied between 1.5% in Providencia group, up to 9.6% in the Amazon groups. No perforations were found in the Wayuu Indian schoolchildren and the highest frequency of Tympanic perforations (1.2%) and sequelaes (8.2)% in the Amazon groups. Audiometric findings were normal in 94-98% of cases. Conductive hearing loss (CHL) was found in 5.5% of Amazon groups and the lowest (1.4%) in the Wayuu groups. Slight to moderate Neurosensorial Hearing Loss (NHL) were found in 1.3% in the Arhuaca communities and moderate 0.9% in the Amazon groups.


The present study is the first conducted in Colombia to evaluate the frequency of ear diseases and sequelae in populations of 5-14 year old children. High prevalences of sequelaes were found in the indigenous groups of the Amazon and the lowest in the Black schoolchildren on the island of Providencia. It is recommended that medical anthropological studies be conducted in these areas, and evaluation done on the probable connection between these types of diseases and processes of intercultural interaction.