Otitis Media with Effusion

Published: February 2016
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  • Key Points 
  • Tables 
    • Abbreviations and Definitions
    • Summary of Guideline Key Diagnostic Action Statements
    • Practical Tips for Performing Pneumatic Otoscopy
    • Risk Factors for Developmental Difficulties
    • Summary of Guideline Key Treatment Action Statements
    • Evidence-Based Recommendations for Tympanostomy Tube Insertion 
    • Shared Decision Grid for Parents and Caregivers Regarding Surgical Options for OME
    • Frequently Asked Questions: Understanding Ear Fluid
    • Frequently Asked Questions: Ear Fluid and Newborn Hearing Screening
    • Frequently Asked Questions: Treating and Managing Ear Fluid
    • Strategies for Improving the Listening and Learning Environment for Children with OME and Hearing Loss
    • Counseling Information on Otitis Media with Effusion, Speech, and Language Development 
  • Figures 
    • Location of the Middle Ear Space
    • Comparison of OME with AOM
    • Position of the Eustachian Tube
    • Normal, Type A Tympanogram Result
    • Abnormal, Type B, Tympanogram Results
    • Management Algorithm
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The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) is the world's largest organization representing specialists who treat the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy represents approximately 12,000 otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons who diagnose and treat disorders of those areas. The medical disorders treated by our physicians are among the most common that afflict all Americans, young and old. They include chronic ear infection, sinusitis, snoring and sleep apnea, hearing loss, allergies and hay fever, swallowing disorders, nosebleeds, hoarseness, dizziness, and head and neck cancer.


This pocket guide attempts to define principles of practice that should produce high-quality patient care. It is applicable to specialists, primary care, and providers at all levels. This pocket guide should not be considered exclusive of other methods of care reasonably directed at obtaining the same results. The ultimate judgment concerning the propriety of any course of conduct must be made by the clinician after consideration of each individual patient situation. Neither IGC, the medical associations, nor the authors endorse any product or service associated with the distributor of this clinical reference tool.


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