Introduction. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis in children with persistent otitis media with effusion in different countries varies between 82% to 93%. Many risk factors of otitis media with effusion has been studied and proven. However, its association with allergic rhinitis remains controversial. Objective. The main objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of allergic rhinitis in children with persistent otitis media with effusion. This study is also aimed to identify the risk factors of otitis media with effusion, common allergens associated with allergic rhinitis and determine the hearing threshold of children with otitis media with effusion. Methods. A hundred and thirty children were recruited. History taking, physical examination and hearing assessment were done in the first visit. Those with allergic rhinitis underwent skinprick test and treated with intranasal corticosteroid and antihistamine. A second examinationand hearing assessment were then repeated after 3 months. Results. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis in children with persistent otitis media with effusion in this study was noted to be 80.3%. Among these children, dust mites appeared to be the most common allergen (87.7%). Another risk factor appeared to be families with more than 4 members per-household (96%). It is noted that that otitis media with effusion caused a hearing loss up to 33 dB. However, there was a statistically significant improvement of the hearing threshold during second visit after commencement of allergy treatment. It was also noted that the hearing threshold in allergic rhinitis group was significantly impaired compared to the non-allergic rhinitis group. Conclusion. Allergic rhinitis and larger family household appeared to be common risk factors in children with persistent otitis media with effusion. There is significant hearing loss noted in children suffering from otitis media with effusion and allergic rhinitis. The hearing threshold improved remarkably with medical therapy. This study hence clarifies the controversy on the association between allergic rhinitis and otitis media with effusion.
allergic rhinitis; allergens; deafness; hearing loss; otitis media with effusion; prevalence; risk factors