Annals of African Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 65-70

Update on first African clinical trial on earpopper for the treatment of otitis media with effusion [FCT/UATH/HREC/PR/330]


1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and University of Abuja; Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Garki Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and University of Abuja; Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Garki Hospital; Department of Surgery, ENT Unit Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
4 Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
5 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and University of Abuja; Abuja Clinic, ENT Unit, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Titus Sunday Ibekwe
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and University of Abuja, and Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Garki Hospital
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_17_21

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Background: Otitis media with effusion (OME) is a middle ear condition characterized by the accumulation of serous fluid. It is common, though not exclusive; among children with its attendant developmental consequence if missed or untreated in early life. OME could be managed surgically, pharmacologically, or physiologically. EarPopper is a medical device developed for physiologic management of OME, Eustachian tube dysfunction, and related problems. We aim to ascertain the suitability/efficiency of EarPopper® device for the treatment of OME in our setting. Methodology: This is a prospective interventional study of volunteers diagnosed with OME from four (4) medical centers in Abuja. Pneumatic otoscopy, video-otoscopy, tympanometry, and pure-tone audiometry were done to confirm the diagnosis. Serial EarPopper sessions were performed twice weekly for 2–12 weeks, and outcome was assessed using patients' reports. The reports include the EarPopper scoring system (ESS) and audiometric parameters (before and after therapy). Results: Forty-five patients (17 males and 28 females) aged between 3–56 years were enrolled. Thirty-five were diagnosed with bilateral OME and 10 unilateral. All patients had Type-B tympanometry tracing with mild-to-moderate conductive hearing losses and ESS of between 2.45% and 84%. Out of the 45 participants, 32 (71.1%) completed the treatment, whereas 13 (28.9%) were lost to follow-up. Duration of EarPopper treatment ranged from 2 to 12 weeks. The outcome revealed improvement in 26/32 (81.3%) with significant reduction in ESS (1% to 9.8%). Six patients 6/32 (18.9%) had persistence symptoms. These 18.9% had the propensity to progress to chronic OME. Conclusion: This study highly suggests good prospect in using EarPopper for the management of OME among Africans.


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