Differential Diagnosis of Otitis Media
Our current work is focused on improving the differential diagnosis of ear infections and middle-ear fluid (otitis media). Otitis media is one of the most common childhood diseases, but there is little consensus with respect to treatment options, which include watch-and-wait approaches, antibiotic use, and surgical placement of pressure equalization (PE) tubes. Currently, there is no evidence-based method to determine which treatment option is most appropriate for a given patient. The goal of this project is to develop methods to differentiate variations in otitis media in order to guide treatment decisions. Differentiating cases of otitis media that require treatment from those that do not would represent a substantial advance in terms of public health. Our findings have the potential to influence the understanding and therapeutic management of childhood hearing loss related to otitis media.