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Otitis Media with Effusion

Otitis Media with Effusion - How to prevent?

Otitis Media with Effusion - Treatments

Otitis media with effusion (OME) diagnosis at KKHWhen symptoms of hearing loss persist, particularly at a time when a child is learning to speak, medical evaluation and treatment are recommended.

Hearing loss is the single most important cause of a child having delayed speech.


To improve Eustachian tube function, a variety of medication may be used. Antibiotics, decongestants and nasal sprays (if nasal allergy co-exists) are the more common ones.

If this fails, surgical options will then be explored. For children, the operations performed are Myringotomy and Tube insertion (M&T) with or without adenoidectomy.


M&T is done under general anaesthesia as a day surgery. This simple procedure generally takes about 15 minutes and involves making a cut on the eardrum and placing a tiny ventilation tube through it. This then allows ventilation of the middle ear.

Possible admission to the hospital is required only when adenoidectomy is done as well. The child will be required to fast overnight i.e. no food or drink after 12 midnight before the operation.

For a younger child, a shorter period of fasting may be sufficient, depending on the anaesthetist’s assessment.

If your child has a fever or cough just before the surgery, you must inform your doctor about it. The surgery may need to be postponed if your child is found unfit for surgery. If the child has any history, or family history of bleeding disorders, or any previous problems with anaesthesia, it must be brought to the doctor’s attention.

Soon after the surgery, your child might still be sleepy, and may vomit from the effects of general anaesthesia. Your child will be allowed to drink water a few hours later, and eating is resumed depending on the child’s recovery.

An immediate improvement in hearing should follow after the surgery.

After discharge there is no dietary restriction, and normal diet and oral hygiene may be resumed. The ventilation tubes placed through the eardrum will be expelled automatically in 6 months’ to a year’s time. Although expelled from the eardrum, the tube may remain in the ear canal, and may need removal by the doctor during a follow-up visit.

Otitis Media with Effusion - Preparing for surgery

Otitis Media with Effusion - Post-surgery care

Otitis Media with Effusion - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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