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Ear infections are a threat to children. EOM is an insidious and silent problem, especially in spring. Ear - Nose - Throat Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal This article explains everything you need to know about this condition that causes hearing loss if not treated in time.
: Which ear disorders are seen in infancy?
Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal Hearing loss is often unnoticed in this age group, since young children and infants cannot tell about hearing problems. Hearing loss, which cannot be prevented, causes delays in children's speech as well as social, emotional problems and school failure. At the same time, some of the causes of reversible hearing loss, which are not recognized in the early period and required intervention, may cause serious problems such as permanent hearing loss or life-threatening infections in the following years. The most common cause of hearing loss in childhood is effusion otitis media (EOM), which is a fluid accumulation without any signs of infection behind the intact eardrum. Although this disorder is very common, it is a silent problem and often overlooked and causes significant problems over time.
: Could you tell us about EOM?
Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal EOM is caused by a loss of function of the eustachian tube, which provides ventilation and drainage of the middle ear due to various factors. The most common cause is inflammation of the middle ear. In all of the acute middle ear infections, fluid is collected in the middle ear, but this fluid disappears over time. Following acute inflammation, middle ear fluid may remain in 10% of the patients for up to three months. Fluid accumulation in the middle ear after three months is considered as EOM. Viral upper respiratory tract infections often cause EOM by disrupting eustachian canal function.
: What are the reasons?
Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal Weakness of the body defense system in infants without breast milk increases the possibility of infection. In particular, the use of a bottle lying in the supine position EOM'a because of milk escaping into the Eustachian channel. This disease is not only seen in infants. Approximately 50-70 percent of preschool children are considered to have had at least one EOM period.
: What are the symptoms?
Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal The family plays an important role in the recognition of the insidious disease EOM. This disease, which does not usually cause pain, gives the following symptoms:
- Children do not respond to calls intermittently due to hearing loss
- Watching the TV too loud or too close
- Saying that their voice echoed in their ears.
- Impairment and clumsiness
: Is it true that ear infections increase in spring?
Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal Ear infections are always a threat to children. In the spring months, children with seasonal allergies may experience swelling of the nose and eustachian canal due to allergic reactions, or an increase in EOM cases as a result of a direct reaction of the middle ear to the allergen. March and April for children with tree pollen and fungi allergy, meadow pollen allergy, May July, and weed allergy in late August is considered the most risky periods. In this respect, we need to be more vigilant against infections in the spring.
: What are the effects of EOM?
Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal EOM usually improves spontaneously but causes serious problems in unrecognized cases. The most important of these problems is hearing loss. Such a loss causes problems in perception and thus language development and affects school success. Moreover, the inability to detect consonant letters such as “s” “z konuşma leads to speech disorders. Çök Serious collapse of the eardrum, mobilization, adherence to middle ear structures, degeneration of middle ear structures, perforation of the eardrum, or serious bone-melting infections may develop rarely.
: How is it treated?
Assoc. Dr. Teoman Dal Antibiotics are used first in the treatment. In case of prolonged cases, in addition to medical treatment, methods such as not sending the child to kindergarten or daycare, protection from cigarette smoke and vaccination against viral and bacterial infections are applied. In patients who do not respond to treatment, surgical interventions may be necessary, especially in the case of significant hearing loss, balance disturbance, eardrum collapse or structural changes or nerve hearing loss.