Introduction Otitis media with effusion (OME) is considered one of the most common disorders that affect children during the first years of life. There are many risk factors of persistent middle ear effusion; one of these risk factors is gastroesophageal reflux. Association between persistent OME and gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERDs) could be explained by respiratory tract infections, insufficient ciliary clearance, and poor drainage of the Eustachian tube.
Objective To investigate whether the control of gastroesophageal reflux plays a role in the management of persistent OME and decreases tympanostomy tube insertion
Method A cross-sectional study was conducted on 50 children complaining of persistent OME. Their ages ranged between 5 and 12 years old. All children were subjected to full history taking, audiological assessment and 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring. The study group was divided according to pH results into two groups: GERD positives and GERD negatives.
Result The prevalence of GERD in persistent OME was 58%. There were statistically significant differences in the hearing levels and middle ear condition before and after the treatment (p < 0.05). The percentage of improvement of children complaining of persistent OME after antireflux treatment was 52%.
Conclusion Gastroesophageal reflux disease should be considered in patients with persistent OME. The administration of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) can set aside superfluous surgical treatment (such as tympanostomy).