Prevalence of hearing loss and ear morbidity among adolescents and young adults in rural southern Nepal

Jane Schmitz, Joseph P Pillion, Steven C. Leclerq, Subarna Khatry, Lee S.F. Wu, Rakesh Prasad, Sureswor L. Karna, Sharada R. Shrestha, Keith P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 3646 persons, 15 to 23 years of age, in the southern plains District of Sarlahi, Nepal, to assess the prevalence and severity of hearing loss and middle-ear dysfunction, and adverse effects of hearing loss on social integration. Between 2006 and 2008, subjects were enumerated and underwent otoscopic, tympanometric, and audiometric evaluations at central sites in villages. Hearing loss was diagnosed in subjects who failed a hearing screening and exhibited an average air conduction threshold value greater than or equal to 30 dBHL in the worse ear. Clinically, 32.8% of subjects exhibited a dull or retracted tympanic membrane, and 18% had abnormal tympanometry. Nearly 12% failed the hearing screening test, among whom more than half, or 6.1% overall, had hearing loss. Hearing-impaired subjects were six- to eight-fold (ORs, with 95% CIs excluding 1.0) more likely to report problems in hearing usual sounds or communicating with other people. Among young adults living in southern Nepal, hearing loss is common, and associated with social disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-394
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Children
  • Ear morbidity
  • Hearing impairment
  • Hearing loss
  • Nepal
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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