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2020 | 74(6) | 9-15
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Long-term results of a hearing test in patients operated for chronic otitis media

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Introduction: Chronic otitis media is characterized by tympanic membrane perforation and conductive hearing loss. In the active form of this disease, there will also be periodic or permanent otorrhea. With a number of surgical techniques available depending on intraoperative findings, otosurgery is the treatment of choice in such cases, the extent of which depends on the type and extent of the pathological changes.
Material and Method: We carried out an analysis of 79 patients with chronic otitis media undergoing surgery at the Department of Otolaryngology, Jagiellonian University Medical College in Kraków between 2005 and 2014. Total audiometry was used as a part of hearing assessment, before the surgery, 6 months after the surgery and in the distant 10-year observation period. In addition, each patient completed the questionnaire and was examined by an otolaryngologist.
Results: The analysis included 79 patients operated on due to chronic otitis media. The mean bone conduction (for frequencies 500,1000 and 2000 Hz) before surgery was 31.8 dB, it did not differ significantly (p = 0.355) after 6 months after surgery (32.8 dB), while it significantly increased (p < 0.001) in a distant 10-year control of 43.4 dB. The mean air conduction (for frequencies 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz) before the procedure was 57.6 dB, it significantly improved in the early control by 50.5 dB, at p < 0.001. In long-term follow-up it increased again to 61.3 dB and was significantly different from the early postoperative period (p < 0.001). The mean air-bone gap for frequencies 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz before surgery was on average 26.4 dB, it was significantly (p < 0.001) reduced in the postoperative period by 17.6 dB. The level of air-bone gap remained at a similar level in distant control.
Conclusions: (1) A completely preserved ossicular chain in the absence of active chronic otitis media is the best prognosis for stable hearing improvement over the years with normal inner ear function; (2) Reoperation worsens the long-term results of a hearing test compared to the first operation.
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