Prevalence of Hearing Impairment Among School Children During the 1968–69 school year, National Speech and Hearing Survey teams tested the hearing of over 38,000 school children from throughout the U.S. However, hearing-loss prevalence information from this comprehensive and carefully controlled survey has never been widely disseminated. A review of these data revealed that the total percentage of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 1991
Prevalence of Hearing Impairment Among School Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Conrad Lundeen, Ph.D.
    West Virginia University
  • Requests for reprints may be sent to Conrad Lundeen, Ph.D., Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, P.O. Box 6122, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6122.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 1991
Prevalence of Hearing Impairment Among School Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1991, Vol. 22, 269-271. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2201.269
History: Received September 11, 1989 , Accepted January 29, 1990
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1991, Vol. 22, 269-271. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2201.269
History: Received September 11, 1989; Accepted January 29, 1990

During the 1968–69 school year, National Speech and Hearing Survey teams tested the hearing of over 38,000 school children from throughout the U.S. However, hearing-loss prevalence information from this comprehensive and carefully controlled survey has never been widely disseminated. A review of these data revealed that the total percentage of children in grades 1 through 12 with PTA’s greater than 25 dB HL was 2.63% (1.9% unilateral, 0.73% bilateral). In contrast, the most frequently cited prevalence rates are at least two-times higher (Eagles, Wishik, Doerfler, Melnick, & Levine, 1963; Roberts & Ahuja, 1975). Because the National Speech and Hearing Survey is by far the largest study of children’s hearing thresholds, and the only one in which all audiometers were calibrated to a modern standard of audiometric zero, its lower estimate appears to be a more precise representation of hearing-loss prevalence among U.S. school children.

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