Otitis media with effusion, which refers to the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear cavity without any signs of infection, is a common health problem both in pre-school and school age children. The etiology of otitis media with effusion is multifactorial and many risk factors may increase its incidence.
The aim of this study is to determine the frequency and risk factors of otitis media with effusion in school age children in Basrah.
In this descriptive prospective study; sixty patients aged between 6-12 years were included; they were 34 males and 26 females diagnosed as having otitis media with effusion in the period between July 2013 to April 2014; at Basrah General Hospital, Iraq. Pure tone audiometry, tympanometry, and lateral x-ray film of post nasal space were done for each patient after a full ENT history and examination . A questionnaire form was constructed to apply for each patient including the possible risk factors for developing otitis media with effusion such as age group, gender, parental smoking, allergy, history of acute infection, maternal education, family income, school type.
Otitis media with effusion was found to be higher (66.7%) in children aged between 6-8 years, males more than females with male to female ratio 1.3:1. (61.6%) were from rural area, parental smoking present in (65%), (58.3%) had history of allergy, (66.6%) with history of upper respiratory tract infection, low maternal educational level, low financial income (66.6%), attendance to public school, and the presence of adenoid hypertrophy (71%) were found to be associated with otitis media with effusion.
Conclusion and Recommendation: Environmental, epidemiologic and familial factors play an important role in etiology of otitis media with effusion. The parents must be informed about these modifiable risk factors, by this way the development or delayed diagnosis of the disease that may cause serious consequences can be prevented.