Steroids for Ear Infections?

Fluid in the ear behind the eardrum is the most common cause of new or temporary hearing loss in children. Sometimes doctors prescribe steroid nasal sprays or even oral steroids in an effort to get rid of the fluid faster.

A critical review of 10 relevant studies was published in the June 2001 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The authors conclude that while there may be modest short-term improvement, there is no evidence at all of any lasting benefit from either oral or nasal steroids, either alone or with antibiotics.

Given the known side effects of these medications, I do not recommend using them for fluid behind the eardrum (called otitis media with effusion, or OME).

Published on: July 18, 2001
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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Thank you for this information. I was considering doing this for my 2 year but istead I will stick with her getting the tubes so that the fluid will drain.