Nonsurgical home treatment of middle ear effusion and associated hearing loss in children. Part I: clinical trial

Ear Nose Throat J. 2005 Sep;84(9):567-8, 570-4, 576 passim.


We conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of treatment of persistent middle ear effusion (MEE) and associated hearing loss with a modified Politzer device used in the home setting over a 7-week period. Efficacy was determined by comparing pre-and posttherapy air-conduction thresholds, tympanometric peak pressures, and otoscopic findings. The study group was made up of 94 children (174 ears), aged 4 to 11 years, who had at least a 2-month history of MEE and associated hearing loss. At study's end, patients in the treatment group experienced statistically significant improvements in all measured outcomes; no significant improvements were seen in the control group in all measured outcomes. At study's end, the hearing sensitivity of 73.9% of the treated ears was within normal limits, compared with only 26.7% of the control ears. These findings demonstrate that home treatment of children with persistent MEE and associated hearing loss with the modified Politzer device is highly efficacious.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Impedance Tests
  • Air Pressure
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eustachian Tube
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Insufflation / instrumentation*
  • Insufflation / methods
  • Nose
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / complications
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / therapy*
  • Otolaryngology / instrumentation*
  • Otolaryngology / methods
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome