Introduction: Recurrent otitis media with effusion continues to be important pediatric clinical problem and is related to food allergy.
Objective: The purpose of the present investigation was to determine if the recurrent otitis media with effusion was associated to food allergy.
Methods: We reviewed medical charts from children with food allergy and otitis media with effusion for a period of three months of duration or every month for the last six months seen in an allergy clinic. Patients with anatomic abnormalities, polypous or immunologic deficiencies were excluded. Every patient was challenged with foods to which he/she was allergic in order to demonstrate cause-effect. In all patients we performed tympanometries.
Results: We found twenty five patients with recurrent otitis media with effusion and food allergy demonstrated by positive skin testing. The most common food found to be associated was milk, egg, beans, citrus, and tomato. The elimination of the food diet led to a significant amelioration of the otitis in 22 patients, in whom clinical and tympanometry evaluation was performed. The challenge diet with suspected offending food provoked a recurrence of the otitis problem.
Conclusion: These results demonstrated the association between recurrent otitis media with effusion and food allergy. Therefore, all patients with recurrent otitis media with effusion should be investigated for food allergy.