Prevalence of Hearing Loss among First Grade School Children in Tirana, Albania Ã¢ÂÂ A Repeated Cross-Sectional SurveySuela Sallavaci1*, Ervin Toci2, Ylli Sallavaci1 and Gentian Stroni3
- Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Suela Sallavaci
Prof Assoc, Service of Otorhinolaryngology
University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa”, Tirana, Albania
Tel: + 355 69 2073349
Received date: July 21, 2014; Accepted date: September 25, 2014; Published date: October 02, 2014
Citation: Sallavaci S, Toci E, Sallavaci Y, Stroni G (2014) Prevalence of Hearing Loss among First Grade School Children in Tirana, Albania â€“ A Repeated Cross-Sectional Survey. Otolaryngol (Sunnyvale) 4:174. doi:10.4172/2161-119X.1000174
Copyright: © 2014 Sallavaci S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Hearing Loss (HL), which affects disproportionally children in low income countries, is increasing worldwide. HL could be associated with a range of speech, language and cognitive problems in children. In Albania the information about this condition is largely outdated. In this context, the aim of this paper was to assess the prevalence of HL among first grade school children in Tirana, the capital city of Albania. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out for three consecutive years during 2008-2011, in 163 schools of Tirana. In total 15,163 first-grade pupils were screened in order to detect those with a high probability of HL, which were later invited to undergo definitive diagnosis procedures. During the first year of study a hearing threshold of ≥ 35 dB for the better ear was used as a cut-off whereas a threshold of ≥30 dB was used for the two remaining study waves. Results: In total, the prevalence of any suspected hearing impairment was 4.4%. The 3-year prevalence of total diagnosed conductive and sensorineural HL was 3.61% and 0.09%, respectively, with no clear trends across the study years. The total prevalence of Otitis Media with Effusion and Chronic Otitis Media was 1.36% and 0.17%, respectively. Conclusions: Hearing loss prevalence among children aged 6-7 years in Albania during 2008-2011 was relatively low. However, in absolute numbers, around 3,000 children would benefit from the early detection of such condition.