In this study the Turkish authors attempted to investigate how quality of life was impacted in patients who underwent surgery for chronic otitis media in their only remaining hearing ear (OHE). Some surgeons view this as high risk due to the potential for hearing loss post surgery in the OHE. However, if the patient is left untreated, hearing can further deteriorate, and there is a risk of further complications. The authors performed a retrospective study, and 23 patients with OHE who underwent middle ear surgery were included. Only 15 of these patients regularly attended follow up for at least two years. There were no complications, and all ears dried up postoperatively. In terms of hearing outcomes, in five patients there was an air-bone gap gain of >20dB, in seven patients a gain of >10dB, in two patients no significant change, and in one patient there was a deterioration of -2dB. One might expect that when operating on patients with OHE the surgeon may be more cautious in disease removal, resulting in a higher rate of recurrence, but the results from this study would not suggest that this is the case. Although there were only a small number of patients included in this study, the results suggest that surgery can be safely performed in patients with OHE with good results, improving the patient’s quality of life, if performed by an experienced otologist with modern techniques and instruments. Furthermore, if hearing does deteriorate post-surgery, there are options for hearing rehabilitation such as cochlear implantation. 

Chronic otitis media surgery in the only hearing ear.
Kalcioglu MT, Cetinkaya Z, Toplu Y, et al.
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Sunil Sharma

Alder Hey Children's Hospital, UK.

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