Role of nasal allergy in chronic secretory otitis media
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- Pelikan, Z. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep (2009) 9: 107. doi:10.1007/s11882-009-0016-3
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Nasal allergy seems to be one of the important causes of chronic secretory otitis media (SOM) in children and adults. Chronic SOM is unequivocally related to disturbed function of the eustachian tube, which facilitates communication of the middle ear with the nasopharynx, nasal cavity, and indirectly with paranasal sinuses. The most serious consequences of chronic SOM are decreased elasticity of the tympanic membrane and hearing impairment. Allergic reactions in the nasal mucosa leading to release of various mediators result in development of three types of nasal response characterized predominantly by nasal obstruction. Eustachian tube functions can be affected directly by the mediators released in the nasal mucosa or indirectly by the nasal obstruction. Nasal challenges with allergens performed by rhinomanometry, combined with tympanometry and eventually audiometry, may be a useful diagnostic supplement for this disorder.