A free hearing screening programme was introduced in schools in the Balearics in 1986. Since then, almost 120,000 schoolchildren on the islands have been screened for hearing loss in primary public and private schools.
The data compiled over the years show that one schoolchild in ten has been diagnosed with hearing loss. Of those, 60 percent were found to have hearing damage in one ear, while 40 percent were affected in both ears. The causes of the hearing loss among these children have not been determined.
The hearing screening is performed by the Hearing Disorders Prevention Unit, appointed by the Regional Ministry of Health in the Balearics, as part of the general Spanish Health Care System.