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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990 Jun;102(6):664-9.

Allergy management of refractory serous otitis media.


Twenty patients classified as having otitis media with effusion (OME) refractory to all previous medical and surgical therapy were entered into a prospective study to see if classic allergy techniques could diagnose and treat otherwise unresolved effusion and persistent hearing loss in lieu of the re-insertion of tympanostomy tubes. RAST testing, skin end point titration and food elimination diets identified a possible allergic etiology in all patients. Among those choosing allergy immunotherapy, 65% maintained normal hearing, normal tympanograms, and the elimination of recurrent infections for three years. The remaining 35% resolved on appropriate food elimination diets. None of the control's symptoms resolved. The history of chronic disease is defined. The pathophysiology of allergic mechanisms and studies attempting to prove or disprove an allergic effect on the middle ear and eustachian tube are reviewed.

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