Pick any youngster in this country who is approaching his second birthday. Odds are three to one that he has had otitis media, possibly several times.
Some clinicians are now suggesting that the condition and its complications warrant more attention.
Three such clinicians are Jerome O. Klein, MD, Boston University School of Medicine; Charles D. Bluestone, MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and John D. Nelson, MD, University of Texas (Dallas) Southwestern Medical School. At a recent New York City briefing for medical editors sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, this trio agreed that:
Not only is otitis media a widespread problem, but heretofore largely unrecognized complications raise questions about how this infection should be managed by physicians.
While the infection can be bacterial or viral, Haemophilus influenzae is the most common bacterial cause—after Streptococcus pneumoniae—of otitis media with effusion, and there is growing recognition that strains of