A middle-ear effusion is a common cause of conductive hearing loss. It may occur when either a head cold or barotrauma interferes with eustachian tube function, and it often follows acute otitis media. A postnasal space neoplasm may also cause eustachian tube dysfunction, and is to be excluded in any adult with a persistent otitis media with effusion.
In children, otitis media with effusion is very common when adenoid tissue interferes with the eustachian tube. The middle-ear fluid tends to be tenacious ("glue ear"), unlike the thin, straw-colored exudate of adults.
The appearance of the drum is altered and the mobility reduced.
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