Introduction: Hearing loss as a sequel of chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) is often conductive, but recent studies have found an additional sensorineural component in these patients, thus demonstrating inner ear damage. The aim of the study was to determine the association between CSOM and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and to assess the influence of patient’s age, duration of disease, and presence of cholesteatoma and ossicular erosion on the degree of SNHL.

Methods: In a retrospective study, the medical records of 119 patients who underwent surgery was reviewed. Seventy patients met the inclusion criteria of unilateral otorrhea, normal contralateral ear on otoscopy, and age between 10–65 years with no history of head trauma or ear surgery or familial hearing loss. Bone conduction (BC) thresholds for affected and contralateral ear were measured at frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 13 with independent-samples t-test, Pearson correlation test, and two-tailed analysis. A p ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Significant higher BC thresholds were found in the affected ear than in the normal ear for each frequency (p < 0.001), which increased with increasing frequency (7.00 dB at the 500 Hz and 9.71 dB at the 4000 Hz). There was a significant correlation between age and degree of SNHL (r = 0.422, p < 0.001) but no significant correlation was in duration of the disease (r = 0.119, p > 0.05). There was no relationship between presence of cholesteatoma and ossicular erosion with SNHL (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that CSOM is associated with some degree of SNHL and cochlear damage, and higher frequencies are more affected. Aging can act as a precipitating factor in this pathological process.


Keywords: Hearing loss, Sensorineural, Otitis media, Suppurative, Bone conduction
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