Document Type: Original
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Chronic otitis media (COM), a persistent and durable inflammation and infection of the middle ear, is a common disorder. Alterations in the contralateral ear in sufferers have been observed in recent years. Because only a few studies have been reported in this area, we performed this study in order to assess alterations in the contralateral ear of patients with COM.
Materials and Methods:
Cross-sectional and descriptive methods were used in 100 patients with COM who were selected for surgical treatment and admitted to hospital. An information form was completed for all patients including demographic data, medical history of otoscopy and paraclinical examinations such as pure tone audiometry (PTA), tympanometry, Schuller radiography, and high resolution computed tomography (HRCT). All data were processed using SPSS (version 18) software and descriptive statistical tests.
According to otoscopy, PTA, tympanometry and graphical analysis, 60% of patients experienced disorders of the contralateral ear. Otoscopy analysis showed 54% of patients had a disorder of the contralateral ear, with the most common disorder being perforation of the ear drum. PTA showed a 48% incidence of contralateral ear problems (85% conductive hearing impairment; 12.5% sensorineural hearing impairment; 1.2% mixed). A total of 73.2% of patients with conductive hearing loss had a problem across all frequencies, while half of the patients with sensorineural hearing impairment had problems at frequencies greater than 1000 Hz. According to tympanometry, 38% of patients had problem in the contralateral ear. HRCT and Schuller graphical analyses indicated 31.5% and 36% occurrence of contralateral ear disorders, respectively.
More than 50% of patients with COM in one ear have a chance of also presenting with the disease in the other ear. Outcomes of this study and previous studies have shown that COM should not be perceived as a disease limited to one ear, because in most cases the progress of the disease can affect both ears.