Main Article Content
Isolated reports of hearing loss presenting as markings on the iris exist, but to date the effectiveness of iridology to identify hearing loss has not been investigated. This study therefore aimed to determine the efficacy of iridological analysis in the identification of moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in adolescents. A controlled trial was conducted with an iridologist, blind to the actual hearing status of participants, analyzing the irises of participants with and without hearing loss. Fifty hearing impaired and fifty normal hearing subjects, between the ages of 15 and 19 years, controlled for gender, participated in the study. An experienced iridologist analyzed the randomised set of participants' irises. A 70% correct identification of hearing status was obtained by iridological analyses with a false negative rate of 41% compared to a 19% false positive rate. The respective sensitivity and specificity rates therefore came to 59% and 81%. Iridological analysis of hearing status indicated a statistically significant relationship to actual hearing status (P < 0.05). Although statistically significant sensitivity and specificity rates for identifying hearing loss by iridology were not comparable to those of traditional audiological screening procedures.
Keywords: Audiology; Hearing loss, Iridology, Screening
African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines Vol. 4 (2) 2007: pp. 205-210