Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of otitis media with effusion (EOM) in primary school children.
Materials and methods: Between March 2002 and April 2002, children attending primary schools in Kahramanmaras were screened. The schools were divided into two groups as urban and suburban. Also, a primary boarding school in the city was included in the study as a third group. A total of 2930 children between the ages of 6 and 16 years were included in the study. After otoscopic examination, tympanogram and acoustic reflex tests were carried out. Audiogram was performed if the child had a type B or a type C tympanogram.
Results: EOM was identified in 189 children, in 80 of whom EOM was unilateral and in 109 of whom was it bilateral. The overall prevalence of EOM was 6.5%, with a maximum prevalence of 10.4% at ages between 6 and 8 years. By increasing age, the prevalence of EOM decreased. Also, we found a higher prevalence rate of EOM in children attending primary boarding school (7.6%) than those attending other schools.
Conclusions: The present study showed that living in crowded places like boarding school may have a role in the occurrence of OME. Also, our findings support the opinion that the age is one of the most important risk factors for OME. Our prevalence rates were different when compared with some other studies from Turkey and other countries. These different prevalence rates may be related to climatic and environmental factors as well as the methods used.