Do tissue spears used to clear ear canal pus improve hearing? A case series study of hearing in remote Australian Aboriginal children with chronic suppurative otitis media before and after dry mopping with tissue spears

Karen Sparrow, Linnett Sanchez, David Turner, Patricia MacFarlane, Andrew Carney

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    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To determine whether the use of tissue spears to remove otorrhoea from Aboriginal children's ear canals improves hearing in the affected ear. Design: Case series study with controls. Methods: The study comprised 61 Aboriginal children from communities in the remote arid zone of South Australia who had otorrhoea obscuring the tympanic membrane in 1 or both ears. Eighty ears were treated with tissue spears, and hearing was assessed before and after treatment. Results: Forty-two children had unilateral and 19 had bilateral active disease. An additional 13 ears without otorrhoea served as controls. Improvement by 5 dB HL or greater in a four-frequency pure tone average occurred in 41.3 per cent of treated ears. Subsequently, blinded audiologists made qualitative judgements that a functional improvement in hearing had occurred after tissue spear use in 28.4 per cent of ears. Conclusion: Tissue spears can improve hearing thresholds in a significant proportion of children with otorrhoea. However, the duration of the effect is unknown.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S11-S15
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
    Volume130
    Issue numberSuppl 1
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2016

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