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Acta Otolaryngol. 2005 Mar;125(3):250-5.

Hearing loss after "refractory" secretory otitis media.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hospital of Ostersund, Ostersund, Sweden.



The results indicate that SOM of extreme duration, and maybe also the treatment of SOM, are risk factors for developing permanent hearing loss, both conductive and sensorineural.


Fluctuating or persisting hearing loss of varying degrees is known to accompany secretory otitis media (SOM). The aim of this study was to detect possible hearing sequelae in young adults who had suffered from "refractory" SOM during childhood. MATERIAL AND MEDTHODS: A total of 33 subjects (age 16-25 years) with previous SOM that had persisted for a mean of 11 years (range 6-19 years) were retrospectively examined at a mean of 18 years after their first myringotomy or tube insertion and compared to 15 healthy controls. The follow-up included audiometric examinations (pure-tone audiometry, distorted speech and impedance audiometry), otomicroscopy and scrutiny of medical records.


The SOM group had poorer hearing at all frequencies with the exception of 1.5 kHz in the range 0.125-16 kHz. Those with the greatest number of myringotomies and tube insertions and those with the longest duration of SOM had significantly poorer hearing at high frequencies (8-16 kHz) than those with fewer tube insertions and a shorter duration of SOM. The SOM group scored lower on distorted speech tests than the controls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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