Diseases: Otitis Media with Effusion

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Otitis media with Effusion (OME)
The Ear
The ear is made up of an outer (external), middle and inner ear. The outer and middle ear is mainly involved in transmitting sounds to the inner ear where that sound is processed. The first step in this process involves sound waves entering the external auditory canal and passing the tympanic membrane (otherwise known as the eardrum- this separates the outer ear from the middle ear)( Vander A, Sherman J, Luciano D, 2001). As small air molecules (sound) passes through the tympanic membrane they cause it to vibrate and these vibrations are then passed onto the middle ear (Moore KL, Agur MRA, 2002). The middle ear formed from 3 tiny bones (malleus, incus and stapes)- known as auditory ossicles then amplify this sound onto the oval window (which separates the middle and inner ear). The malleus is connected to the tympanic membrane and the stapes sits on the oval window with the incus in between both of these helping to pass sound from the outer to inner ear. The inner ear consists of the cochlea; a spiral shaped apparatus full of fluid. As sound passes the oval window into the cochlea it causes movement of this fluid which in turn moves the many hair cells inside the cochlea- this then sends various messages collectively to the cochlear nerve and this message is then processed by the brain and that is how we hear Vander A, Sherman J, Luciano D, 2001).
What is otitis media
Otitis media is defined as inflammation of the middle ear most commonly due to infection (Oxford concise medical dictionary, 2003). Depending on the timing of the infection this can be further divided into acute (develops suddenly and improves with or without treatment) or chronic (inflammation of middle ear fluid of several ...

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8. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008a) surgical management of OME- full guidnace (NICE guideline). Clinical guideline 60. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
9. Otitis Media with Effusion in Children | Doctor | Patient.co.uk. 2014. Otitis Media with Effusion in Children | Doctor | Patient.co.uk. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/otitis-media-with-effusion-in-children. [Accessed 11 March 2014].
10. Oxford concise medical dictionary (2003). Oxford concise medical dictionary. 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford university press. 497.
11. Rosenfeld MR et al, 2004. Clinical practice guideline: otitis media with effusion. Journal of otolaryngology head and neck, 130(5), 95-118.
12. Vander A, Sherman J, Luciano D (2001). Human physiology the mechanisms of body function. 8th ed. New York: Mcgraw-hill. 251-255

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