Speech and language outcomes in mild-moderate unilateral sensorineural hearing loss

Chengetai Mahomva, Anne Kim, Judith E.C. Lieu, Donald M. Goldberg, Samantha Anne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The impact of mild-moderate unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (USNHL) on speech and language delay (SLD) is not well established. Objectives included (1) determining SLD prevalence in patients with mild-moderate USNHL in comparison to prevalence in the general population and severe-profound USNHL patients and (2) examining speech, language, and auditory function testing (SLAT) results in USNHL patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review of pediatric patients with USNHL, classified using pure tone averages (PTA) into mild-moderate (PTA 21–60) and severe-profound (PTA ≥ 61) USNHL groups was conducted. Abnormal SLAT values defined SLD. Prevalence and association of SLD based on USNHL severity was calculated. Onesample binomial tests compared observed frequencies of SLD to reported values. Results: Forty-nine patients were identified with USNHL; 34 patients underwent SLAT. SLD frequency for mild-moderate USNHL was 25% (95% CI, 9–49%), higher than the general population rate (5.95%). No statistically significant difference was noted between SLD frequency in mild-moderate versus severe-profound USNHL. There were no significant correlations between SLAT measures and PTA thresholds. Conclusion: There was a statistically significant increase in SLD in mild-moderate USNHL compared to the general population. There were no correlations between SLAT measures and PTA thresholds. Children with USNHL need close monitoring of speech, language and auditory development and functioning. Studies with larger sample sizes will help delineate if these findings truly reflect results in children with USNHL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110558
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Speech and language delay
  • Unilateral hearing loss


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