Paper Title: Pure Tone Audiometric Evaluations of Adult Patients with Hearing Impairment in a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital
Authors: Onotai L.O, Ebong M.E
BACKGROUND: Hearing impairment irrespective of who is affected still remains a leading cause of disease burden in most developing countries. This study was conducted to establish the Pure Tone Audiometric (PTA) pattern of hearing impaired adult patients that presented to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinics of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Port Harcourt, Nigeria. It will also bring to limelight the burden of these patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective study of adult patients who had PTA evaluations done on account of hearing impairment in the department of Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgery of the UPTH over a 7 year period from January 2006 to December 2012. The patient data were retrieved from the Pure Tone Audiometry register, registers in the ENT clinics and patients case notes. Demographic data, clinical features, types and degree of hearing impairment, predisposing factors and management outcomes were recorded and analyzed. RESULTS: Four hundred and seventy seven patients had PTA out of 5056 who attended the ENT clinics during the study period. There were 275 males and 202 females (male: female ratio of 1.4:1.0). Age range was 18 to 94 years, mean = 46.8 +/- 12.5 years. The age group that was commonly affected with hearing impairment was 51-61 years. Profound, severe, moderate, mild and normal hearing impairments were found in 50, 185, 110, 96 and 36 patients respectively. Sensorineural hearing loss was the commonest type of hearing impairment. Majority of the patients had severe hearing impairment and the commonest predisposing factor was exposure to loud noise. Majority (n=285) of the patients could not have further expert management because of poverty and lack of facilities/manpower. CONCLUSION: This study established the PTA pattern among adult patients with hearing impairment in UPTH. The middle aged group patients were mostly affected and most patients had severe hearing impairment of which sensorineural hearing loss ranked highest. Undue exposure to loud noise was implicated as the commonest factor responsible for hearing impairment.