Questions Answers

What are the consequences if the child has persistent otitis media with effusion?

As with any problem or disease OME also if left untreated for long will produce undesirable effects.

1. Most common complication is decreased hearing. This is mainly of conductive type and is due to presence of fluid in the middle ear. This impedes the mobility of the ear drum producing the conductive hearing loss.

2. Speech and language problem: the development of normal speech depend on many factors like age of the child, communication within the family and of course hearing status of the child. Studies have shown that impact on speech is related to the number of days for which OME was present so it is advisable to get the child treated for ear problem as early as possible.

3. Behavioural abnormalities

4. Imbalance: Children with OME may have imbalance or may be clumsy and fall.

5. Retracted ear drum which may lead to formation of bone eroding cholesteatoma.