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This study aimed to evaluate the sensitivity of transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing as a screening tool for hearing loss in children, after grommet insertion.
A prospective study was conducted of 48 children (91 ears) aged three to 16 years who had undergone grommet insertion for glue ear. At post-operative review, pure tone audiometry was performed followed by transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing. Outcomes for both tests, in each ear, were compared.
The pure tone audiometry threshold was ≤20 dB in 85 ears (93.4 per cent), 25 dB in two ears (2.2 per cent) and ≥30 dB in four ears (4.4 per cent). Transient evoked otoacoustic emissions were detected in 69 ears (75.8 per cent). The sensitivity of transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing for detecting hearing loss was 100 per cent for ≥30 dB loss but only 66.7 per cent for ≥25 dB loss.
Transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing offers a sensitive means of detecting hearing loss of ≥30 dB following grommet insertion in children. However, the use of such testing as a screening tool may miss some cases of mild hearing loss.