I'm looking for some research data for the amount of hearing loss resulting from otitis media with effusion (OME), or glue ear, or fluid in the middle ear. The typical answer I read is "20-30dB" but this result is never referenced. Median/average, 90 percentile, kind of data would be very useful.

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    Are you referring to hearing loss while the effusion is present, or to permanent hearing loss resulting from scarred due to (usually recurrent) infection?
    – Susan
    Jul 1, 2015 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


Otitis media with effusion (OME) is most common in young children (under 2) making studying the effects on hearing difficult. While newborn hearing screening is common, it does not provide a full audiogram. Collecting an audiogram a a child who does not speak or understand direction and has limited attention is hard. Collecting an audiogram on a sick child is even harder. With a some serious caveat regarding sample size, Werner and Ward (1997) provide the best study on this that I am aware of. They conclude that the effect of OME is 15-30 dB (while the child is sick).

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