Objectives: to determine the etiology of hearing loss among children presenting at Al –Thawra Teaching Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen.
Patients and methods: a total of 580 children with hearing loss attended the ENT out-patient clinic in Al – Thawra Teaching Hospital during the period from January 2003 to December 2004. Patients were examined clinically and investigated by pure tone audiometry, tympanometry and auditory brain stem response (ABR) when indicated.
Results: A proportion of 68.3% of children with hearing loss were aged between 5-15 years at presentation. Males were 337(58.1%) and females were 243 (41.9%).
Of the 385(66.4%) children who were subjected to pure tone audiometery 282 (73.2%) had profound hearing loss, 71 (18.4%) had severe hearing loss and 32 (8.3%) had moderately severe hearing loss.
Causes of hearing loss were: unknown in 238(41.0%), meningitis in 122(21.0%), hereditary in 76(13.1%), ototoxicity in 47 (8.1%) and febrile convulsion in 35(6.0%).
Consanguinity was recorded in the parents of 309(53.3%) children. Of them 192 (62.1%) married to their first cousins and 117 (37.9%) to their relatives.
Conclusion: the highest range of presentation of children with hearing loss was between 5-15 years old. The most common causes were unknown, meningitis, hereditary and ototoxicity. Consanguinity was reported by more than half of the parents. Majority of the children were with profound type of hearing loss.
Key words: Hearing loss, Children, Al – Thawra Teaching Hospital, Yemen