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Otitis media with effusion (serous otitis media) in children: Management

Authors
Jerome O Klein, MD
Stephen Pelton, MD
Section Editors
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Glenn C Isaacson, MD, FAAP
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD

INTRODUCTION

Otitis media with effusion (OME (picture 1)), also called serous otitis media, is defined as middle-ear effusion without acute signs of infection [1]. The term "glue ear" is sometimes used as a synonym for OME, but should be reserved for cases in which the effusion is long-standing and the fluid in the middle ear has become thick and glue-like [2]. OME often occurs after acute otitis media (AOM), but it also may occur with eustachian tube dysfunction in the absence of AOM. In general, OME is a spontaneously resolving condition and observation is the preferred strategy except for children with hearing impairment, developmental delay, or specific conditions (such as cleft palate) where OME is often prevalent and persistent.

The management of OME will be reviewed here. The clinical features and diagnosis of OME and the clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of AOM are discussed separately:

(See "Otitis media with effusion (serous otitis media) in children: Clinical features and diagnosis".)

(See "Acute otitis media in children: Epidemiology, microbiology, clinical manifestations, and complications".)

(See "Acute otitis media in children: Diagnosis".)

                                

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Aug 03 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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