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Stool SE, Berg AO, Berman S, et al. Otitis Media with Effusion in Young Children. Rockville (MD): Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR); 1994 Jul. (AHCPR Clinical Practice Guidelines, No. 12.)

  • This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

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Otitis Media with Effusion in Young Children.

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Glossary

  • Acoustic reflectometry.
  • A test using sound to evaluate the status of the middle ear.
  • Acute otitis media.
  • Inflammation of the middle ear with signs or symptoms of middle ear infection.
  • Adenoidectomy.
  • A surgical procedure to remove the adenoids (lymphoid tissue in the nasopharynx).
  • Antibiotic agent, drug, medication.
  • A pharmaceutical preparation that kills bacteria causing infection. Antibiotic agents that have been used and studied for otitis media with effusion in children are believed to be effective for a broad spectrum of bacteria and are administered by mouth.
  • Conductive hearing loss.
  • Decreased hearing acuity resulting from impaired transmission of sound between the eardrum and oval window (tissue dividing the middle and inner ears).
  • Decibel (db).
  • A measure of the intensity of sound.
  • Environmental risk factors (for otitis media with effusion).
  • Any of a number of factors in the child's physical, nutritional, or social surroundings that can be associated with otitis media with effusion. Factors discussed in the Guideline include infant feeding practices, passive smoking (smoke particles present in the air the child breathes as a result of another's active smoking of tobacco), and group child-care facility attendance.
  • Eustachian tube.
  • A short tube that connects the middle ear space and the nasopharynx. The eustachian tube is normally closed; it usually opens with swallowing, yawning, or change in air pressure between the middle ear space and the nasopharynx.
  • Hearing evaluation.
  • Testing conducted to estimate the patient's hearing sensitivity, auditory system integrity, and auditory function. Various tests are used, depending on the age of the patient and the need to define the characteristics of any hearing loss.
  • Hearing threshold level.
  • The decibel value of the lowest-intensity sound detectable by the individual. When possible, hearing threshold level is measured in each ear separately. Hearing threshold level can be worsened in an ear with otitis media with effusion.
  • Middle ear.
  • The part of the ear that includes the eardrum, auditory ossicles, facial nerve, and eustachian tube. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the nasopharynx.
  • Middle ear effusion.
  • Fluid in the middle ear.
  • Myringotomy.
  • An operation in which a small incision is made through the tympanic membrane (eardrum).
  • Myringotomy with insertion of tympanostomy tube(s).
  • After myringotomy and suctioning of fluid from the middle ear, a small tube (tympanostomy tube) is inserted into the eardrum. This term is usually plural (myringotomy with insertion of tympanostomy tubes) because the procedure is most often performed on both ears. This procedure is most often performed to treat otitis media with effusion in children in order to remove the effusion, provide ventilation, and restore hearing.
  • Nasopharynx.
  • Air passage connecting the nose and the throat. The eustachian tube opens into the nasopharynx.
  • Observation.
  • Monitoring a child who has otitis media with effusion for signs and symptoms of effects on hearing or behavior or the occurrence of other middle ear disease.
  • Otitis media.
  • Inflammation of the middle ear, with or without signs of fluid or infection.
  • Otitis media with effusion.
  • Fluid in the middle ear without signs or symptoms of ear infection.
  • Otoscopy.
  • Use of an instrument called an otoscope (a device that contains a light source and lenses attached to a speculum) to look directly at the tympanic membrane.
  • Persistent acute otitis media.
  • Middle ear inflammation with signs of infection that does not resolve after initial treatment.
  • Pneumatic otoscopy.
  • Use of an instrument called a pneumatic otoscope to both look at the tympanic membrane and observe its movement. A pneumatic otoscope is similar to an otoscope, with the added features of a means to seal the speculum in the ear canal and to create a slight increase in pressure and then a decrease in pressure in the ear canal. The changes in pressure allow the examiner to evaluate the mobility of the tympanic membrane.
  • Recurrent acute otitis media.
  • Middle ear inflammation with signs of infection that occurs shortly after resolution of an episode of acute otitis media.
  • Steroid agent, drug, medication.
  • A pharmaceutical preparation of adrenocorticosteroid hormone. The steroid medications that have been used to treat otitis media with effusion in children have been given by mouth or sprayed into the nose; duration of therapy has been a maximum of 7 to 10 days.
  • Tonsillectomy.
  • A surgical procedure to remove the tonsils (a type of lymphoid tissue located in the throat).
  • Tympanic membrane.
  • Also called the eardrum. A very thin disc of skin-like tissue about 1 centimeter in diameter that separates the outer ear (the ear canal) from the middle ear.
  • Tympanometry.
  • A test of tympanic membrane compliance and middle ear pressure.
  • Tympanostomy tube.
  • A tiny tube, usually of metal or plastic and about 0.5 centimeter long, that can be inserted after myringotomy to ventilate the middle ear.

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