Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was found to be associated with an increased incidence of chronic otitis media with effusion (OME), according to findings presented at the 2021 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting.
GERD (chronic acid reflux) is a condition in which acid-containing contents in your stomach persistently leak back up into your esophagus. OME is a collection of non-infected fluid in the middle ear space. Are these two conditions related, and what should audiologists know?
Researchers conducted a retrospective study using data from the Korea National Health Insurance System. The GERD group consisted of 3532 individuals who were diagnosed with GERD between January 2002 and December 2005. The control group included 14,128 individuals who were chosen based on sociodemographic factors and year of enrollment.
A total of 17,660 individuals were included in the study population, and each patient was monitored until 2013. The incidence, survival rate, and hazard ratio (HR) of chronic OME was calculated using survival analysis, the log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazard regression models.
Results showed that overall incidence of chronic OME was significantly higher in the GERD group compared with the control group (3.0 vs 1.8 per 1000 person-years). Increasing age was also significantly associated with chronic OME development.
If you have patients with GERD, it is possible that they will at one time or another have OME, which in turn can affect their hearing. Being aware of this correlation can assist audiologists in knowing the possible cause of hearing fluctuations and when to refer for medical consultation.
Park, B. (2021) Risk of chronic otitis media with effusion pp in GERD patients. MPR. (accessed October 28, 2021).
Yeo CD, Lee EJ. (2021) Association of GERD with increased risk of chronic OME. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting. Los Angeles, CA.