A high-fat diet is associated with otitis media with effusion (OME) and may be a factor in childhood obesity. The study analyzed the dietary intake of 4,359 participants between the ages of four and 13 years of age. The 2008-2012 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey provided the data for the analysis. Read more:
Comprehensive strategies to prevent and control obesity impacts otitis media, according to a recent report that studied children and adolescents. The research examines a sector-wide approach that also potentially improves outcomes for dental health, cardiovascular disease, depression, and bullying. Read more:
The Eye and Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh had a “hole in its mission,” according to Dr. Charles Bluestone. “They’ve never had a program for otitis media, yet it is the most common disease in infants and children.”
The Eye and Ear Foundation, which specializes in sensory neural hearing loss located in the central nervous system and the inner ear, now oversees the Society for Middle-Ear Disease (SMED), which was founded four years ago.
“I realized we had no advocacy group that is a community-managed society like there is for cancer, diabetes, sickle cell (anemia), and atherosclerosis,” he explains.
Aborigines internationally suffer from middle-ear disease that often goes untreated. Here in the United States, “The Navajos and Apache tribes in the native populations of Western United States also have a high frequency of ear disease,” he says.
So do infants and children under five, and breastfeeding can be a deterrent. “No question, every immunologic study shows that breastfeeding, especially into the sixth month, is very successful in prevention of otitis media,” says Dr. Bluestone.
“We want to get mothers who are looking to breastfeed, ‘should I do it, or should I not?’ be advised about otitis media,” he says. “Some have no time for it. It’s hard for them to pump their milk at work.” Visit our blog for more information on breastfeeding.
He has partnered with SMED advisor, Dr. Leslie Salkeld, who has been treating the Maori. “They are the indigenous population of New Zealand and very prone to middle-ear disease from infancy on to adulthood,” he says.
For the past 35 years, SMED advisor and long-time ally, Dr. Harvey Coates, has been spearheading medical treatment for the indigenous population of Australia. “Almost everybody had ear disease when they were a kid, and they still have it as adults,” says Dr. Bluestone. “It can be very lethal if it’s not handled properly.”
The Eye and Ear foundation has been very supportive in keeping the public informed about SMED, maintaining the website, and getting donations.
If funds are raised, long-term plans are to set up a program to provide advance training for otolaryngologists in developing nations to learn middle-ear surgery. The training would take place at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Otolaryngology.
“Children and adults die from complications of otitis media, mainly mastoid infections, because they don’t get treated, “ he says. “It moves onto a chronic phase that can result in a mastoid infection that spreads to the brain. They can die of a brain abscess and meningitis.”