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The effect of otitis media with effusions on balance in children

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John MatthewsORCiD


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There is increasing interest in the effect, otitis media with effusions (OME) has on the balance in children. The aim of our investigation was to determine whether a universal effect on balance could be demonstrated in children with OME by using sway posturography. Assessment was made in 20 children with proven OME before and after the insertion of bilateral ventilation tubes. Sway posturography was performed on each occasion in each of the four recording conditions in the presence and absence of both reduced optic fixation and reduced proprioception. The pathlength traversed during the recording interval was measured and analysed by a split-unit ANOVA. The results demonstrate an overall improvement in mean pathlength of 20% following treatment of the effusions (P < 0.001) (95% CI 14-25%). The effect of reduced optic fixation and of reduced proprioception were similar when increasing the mean pathlength by 22% (P < 0.001). These results demonstrate that OME has a universal effect on balance in all recording conditions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Waldron MNH, Matthews JNS, Johnson IJM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Otolaryngology and Allied Sciences

Year: 2004

Volume: 29

Issue: 4

Pages: 318-320

ISSN (print): 0307-7772

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2273.2004.00833.x

PubMed id: 15270815


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