WHAT IS OTITIS MEDIA WITH EFFUSION (OME)?
OME, otherwise known as ‘Glue Ear’, is the collection of fluid in the middle ear. It occurs commonly in children, and it has been quoted in studies that up to 60% of children have at least one episode by age 6. It frequently happens after an upper respiratory infection (flu), and in the majority of cases, it resolves by itself. The length of time for the resolution varies and may take up to 3 months. Studies have also shown that 95% of children would have complete resolution without any surgical intervention in 3 months.
WHAT CAUSES OME?
The problem is usually due to the malfunction of the eustachian tube. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the nose which allows ventilation and proper function of the middle ear mechanism. In young children under the age of 10, the eustachian tube may be softer and more prone to blockage due to its immaturity. It continues to stiffen and strengthen through childhood. Most children do not have middle ear issues after their first decade.