The effect of the season on otitis media with effusion resolution rates in the New York Metropolitan area

Michael A. Gordon, Eli Grunstein, William B. Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the relationship between season and resolution rates of otitis media with effusion (OME) in the New York Metropolitan area, in order to provide objective data useful to the practicing otolaryngologist in determining if seasonal factors should be considered in OME management decisions. Methods: This was a prospective study of children referred to a tertiary medical center. Children with OME (confirmed by pneumatoscopy and tympanometry) were followed by an otologist at an academic medical center over a 3 years period. They returned approximately every 6 weeks until the end points of resolution of the effusions or ventilating tube placement. Each period between visits is termed an "interval." Results: 127 patients with 231 effusions were followed for a total of 354 intervals. Effusions at intervals beginning in autumn were least likely to resolve by the next visit (24.29%) while intervals ending in the summer had the greatest rate of resolution (44.32%). Analyzed by month, the lowest rates of resolution were seen in intervals beginning in September, November, February, and March (16.67, 21.05, 20.51, and 19.15%, respectively). Intervals beginning in May had the greatest chance of resolution (51.72%). There was a positive correlation between resolution rates and average daily temperatures as reported by month. Conclusions: The season and month of the year are relevant factors in the clinical course of OME in the New York Metropolitan area. Based on the observed rates of resolution, one could reasonably consider taking a more conservative approach to OME management in May through August, and a more aggressive approach in the fall and winter months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Effusion
  • Otitis media
  • Resolution
  • Season
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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