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About Otitis Media

​​10 Facts On Otitis Media

  1. Glue ear is the layman’s term for otitis media with effusion (OME).

  2. Glue ear happens when fluid is trapped in the middle ear space behind the ear drum, and does not drain through the eustachian tube which connects the middle ear and the back of the nose.

  3. 80% to 90% of ventilation ear tube surgeries are in children below 6 years old.

  4. Otitis media has a higher prevalence where there is higher prevalence of infectious diseases, malnutrition, nose allergy, large adenoids or craniofacial differences.

  5. In adults, nose tumors and frequent flying are also factors.

  6. Chronic glue ear results in hearing difficulties, speech, language and academic delays.

  7. Serious effects include permanent hearing loss, brain infection, ear bone erosion and ear tumor.

  8. Ventilation ear tubes (grommet tubes) are inserted to drain chronic middle ear fluid or prevent repeated acute otitis media.

  9. During the current surgery, an incision is made on the ear drum, and a ventilation ear tube is inserted onto a less than paper-thin ear drum through a small ear canal  0.4 - 1 cm in diameter (child - adult).

  10. Great precision is needed during surgery to avoid injury to the drum and hearing loss.

10 Numbers On Otitis Media

  1. Otitis media is the leading cause for children visits to doctors.

  2. Otitis media is the leading cause of antibiotic prescription by doctors for children.

  3. Otitis media is the leading cause of hearing loss in children.

  4. Ventilation tube insertion is the most common surgery performed under general anesthesia for children.

  5. Peak prevalence of otitis media occurs between age 6-18 months and 4-5 years.

  6. 80% - 90% of children in USA have at least one documented middle ear effusion by age 2 years.

  7. One third of children in USA experience six or more episodes of acute otitis media by age 7 years.

  8. There is increased prevalence of otitis media among Micronesian and Australian aboriginal children.

  9. In much of the Africas, South Asia, East Asia and Oceania, there continues to be scant data on the incidence of otitis media though there is high incidence of infectious disease.

  10. The reported number of ventilation tubes placed worldwide are underestimations of the real need – challenges with access, cost, general anesthesia and surgical microscopes.

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