Serous Otitis Media – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
The fluid does not drain due to the swelling or compression of the Eustachian tube which is the channel responsible for draining the ear.
- This is common in children who are under the age of 3.
- It is painless.
- If this condition is not treated properly it may lead to middle ear infections and may further lead to delay in speech and language development.
- The main cause is middle ear infections which causes inflammation of Eustachian tube leading to fluid accumulation in the middle ear.
- Infections of the adenoids or tonsils may also cause recurrent middle ear infections.
- Various conditions that increase the mucus secretion in the upper respiratory tract can lead to accumulation of fluids.
- Gastro intestinal reflux disease.
- Cleft palate.
- Exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollutants also increase the mucus production.
- Exposure to smoke, dust mites, pollen and various other allergens must be prevented.
- Infections caused are very difficult to diagnose.
- Doctors examine the ear and check for any bubbles or fluid behind the eardrum.
- Tympanometer is used to determine the quantity and thickness of the fluid.
- The device works by altering the air pressure in the ear canal and measuring the reaction of the eardrum.
- Doctors will do a hearing test if the fluid is present for more than a month.
- The middle ear fluid is treated with environmental changes and if needed using medicine and surgery.
- If an illness like gastrointestinal reflux disease (GORD) is causing the fluid then the treatment method involves controlling the illness.
- The main treatment is by changing the environment factors that may help in fluid drain in the ear automatically.
- An antibiotic is used to stop the middle ear infection if the fluid persists for several weeks.
- The final stage is the surgery which is performed when there is no improvement in the condition even after medications for several months.
- Surgery involves a small incision made in the eardrum and a ventilation tube is placed into the incision to help the fluid drain.
- This technique will also prevent fluid accumulation again.
- If adenoids or tonsils are infected, then doctors advise surgery to remove them.
PEOPLE UNDER RISK:
- Children under 3 years old are under risk to get this condition.
Cleft palate is a birth defect where there is an opening in the roof of the mouth.