Does access to saltwater swimming pools reduce ear pathology and hearing loss in school children of remote arid zone aboriginal communities? A prospective 3-year cohort study

Does access to saltwater swimming pools reduce ear pathology and hearing loss in school children of remote arid zone aboriginal communities? A prospective 3-year cohort study Journal Article

Clinical Otolaryngology

  • Author(s): Sanchez, Linnett, Carney, Andrew Simon, Esterman, Adrian, Sparrow, Karen, Turner, David
  • Published: 2019
  • ISBN: 1749-4478

Abstract: Objective To assess whether access to saltwater chlorinated swimming pools in remote Aboriginal communities is beneficial in reducing levels of middle ear disease and hearing loss in school children. Design A prospective 3-year cohort study of children in 10 remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia with (n = 4) or without (n = 6) swimming pools. Setting Outback Australia. Participants Eight hundred and thirteen school-age children residing in remote South Australia. Main outcome measures Prevalence of open and closed middle ear disease and prevalence of hearing loss. Results About 2107 ear assessments were conducted during the study period. 70.7% of children in communities with pools failed a screening test of hearing compared with 68.6% of children in non-pool communities (P = 0.637). 32.3% of children had chronic otitis media (COM). There was no difference between pool and non-pool communities in the frequency of either inactive (19.4% pool vs 22.6% non-pool; P = 0.232) or active (19.8% pool vs 17.8% non-pool; P = 0.383) COM. In children with bilateral intact tympanic membranes, 21.2% had unilateral and 20.6 had bilateral type B tympanograms. There was no difference between pool and non-pool communities in the frequency of type B tympanometry (P = 0.465). Conclusions Hearing loss associated with both open and closed middle ear disease remains highly prevalent in children living in remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia. Access to swimming pools in this population does not appear to significantly reduce these high levels of middle ear disease or associated hearing loss.

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Sanchez, Linnett, Carney, Andrew Simon, Esterman, Adrian, Sparrow, Karen, Turner, David, 2019, Does access to saltwater swimming pools reduce ear pathology and hearing loss in school children of remote arid zone aboriginal communities? A prospective 3-year cohort study, Journal Article, viewed 08 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=15197.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again