Objectives: The aim of the study was to describe the prevalence and nature of auditory and otological manifestations in adults with HIV/AIDS according to clinical examinations and self-reported symptoms. Auditory profiles of HIV individuals were compared to that of a matched control group. Study design: A descriptive, cross-sectional group design was utilized in the first section of the study while a comparative, control matched research design was used to compare the HIV group and matched control group. Methods: Two hundred HIV positive adult patients attending the Infectious Disease Clinic of the 1 Military Hospital were included through convenience sampling. Participants were interviewed, medical files were reviewed and clinical examinations, including otoscopy, tympanometry, pure tone audiometry and distortion product oto-acoustic emissions, were completed. A control group of 184 individuals were compiled, matched to 184 of the HIV infected participants according to age, gender, ethnicity as well as working environment. Audiological thresholds at 0.5kHz – 4kHz were compared among these groups. Results: A prevalence of self-reported tinnitus (26%), vertigo (25%) hearing loss (27.5%), otalgia (19%) and pruritis (38%) was recorded. The onset of hearing loss was reported to be mostly (82%) of a slow progressive nature. Abnormalities in tympanometry, otoscopy and oto acoustic emissions were found in respectively 41%, 55% and 44% of participants. Hearing loss greater than 25 dB (PTA) was recorded in 14% of participants compared to 39% for hearing loss greater than 15 dB (PTA). Although not statistically significant (p<.05), self reported vertigo, self reported hearing loss, OAE abnormalities, hearing loss (PTA>15dB and PTA>25dB) and occurrence of mild hearing loss occurred throughout the CDC categories which were used as a measure of disease progression. A statistically significant increase (p<.05) in sensorineural hearing loss was seen with disease progression. In the comparative section, statistically significant (p<.05) worse thresholds were found in the HIV group as opposed to the control group at all frequencies (0.5 kHz – 4 kHz). Conclusions: Auditory and otological symptoms occurred frequently in this sample, while an increase in some symptoms as well as hearing loss was seen throughout disease progression. Sensorineural hearing loss increased significantly through disease progression. Hearing loss occurred more frequently in HIV individuals as opposed to individuals in the control group, while hearing loss occur more frequently in the more advanced stages of HIV infection.
Dissertation (MCommunication Pathology)--University of Pretoria, 2012.