Screening of Children with Upper Respiratory Tract Infection for Otitis Media with Effusion


  • Saira Iftikhar Assistant Professor, Department of ENT, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad
  • Ayesha Jawad Assistant Professor, Department of ENT, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad
  • Ambreen Riaz Registrar, Department of ENT, Shifa College of Medicine
  • Mumtaz Ahmad Umar Associate Professor, Department of ENT, IMDC
  • Farhan Ahmed Assistant Professor, Department of ENT, HITEC IMS, Taxilla
  • Muhammad Zafar Rabbani Professor, Department of ENT, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad



Objective: To determine the recurrence rate of Otitis Media with Effusion (OME) among children without hearing loss, in relation to different upper respiratory tract infections.

Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the Shifa Foundation Community Health Centre (SFCHC) in Islamabad from February 2020 to February 2021, this study involved otoscopic examinations by a blinded team member. Tympanometry was performed on patients displaying OME signs. Both the examiner and performer were unaware of the child's study status to minimize bias.

Results: The study included children with a mean age of 7.35 ± 2.30 years, predominantly males (59.4%). Common symptoms were nasal obstruction (98%), mouth breathing (97%), and sore throat (98%). Physical examination revealed no Deviated Nasal Septum (DNS), nasal polyps, or tender sinuses. Mucopurulent nasal discharge (94.1%), adenoid hypertrophy (98%), and congested tonsils (96%) were prevalent. Dull/opaque tympanic membranes were present in 22.8% of children, while 74.3% displayed a light reflex, and 26.7% had a prominent short process of malleus.

Conclusion: Otitis media with effusion is frequent in children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections, non-specific ear symptoms, and poor school performance. Although typically benign with a high rate of spontaneous resolution, it often leads to parental anxiety, unnecessary investigations, and sometimes unwarranted medication.

Key Words: Otitis Media with Effusion, Recurrent Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Hearing Loss.






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