Audiological Investigation of Otitis Media in Children with Atopy
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- Martines, F. & Bentivegna, D. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep (2011) 11: 513. doi:10.1007/s11882-011-0228-1
Otitis media (OM) describes an inflammatory process within the middle ear space that is generally associated with accumulation of fluid and that may lead to hearing loss, learning difficulties, and delays in language development. The pathogenesis of OM is multifactorial, involving the adaptive and native immune system, eustachian tube dysfunction, viral and bacterial load, and genetic and environmental factors. The involvement of IgE-mediated allergic reactions in the pathogenesis of OM has been suggested by clinical observations of a high prevalence of OM among patients with allergies. Evidence from studies involving tympanometric measurements, audiometric measurements, and otoscopic examination confirms the role of atopy in the development and persistence of OM.