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The United States prides itself on being one of the worlds super-powers It strives to compete internationally in the areas of politics business and standard of living However in a time when arms and militaristic superiority no longer define dominance it is the pen that is mightier than the sword Knowledge truly is power The U S continually expresses its desire to promote education as one of its primary national goals Yet a condition called otitis media may inhibit the process of learning in many infants and children the future leaders of America Many professionals have hypothesized that chronic or reoccurring otitis media may cause complications in later learning Conversely there is a school of thought which speculates that otitis media does not cause any long lasting effects on learning processes In this paper the supposed design by which otitis media affects learning will be elucidated as well as the reasons for the abundance of contradictory findings regarding the causality between otitis media and learning deficiency In addition multiple approaches towards intervention and prevention and the future direction of research will be discussed What is Otitis Media Before one can make an objective decision about which view to concur with a basic knowledge about otitis media is needed Otitis media is a condition characterized by inflammation of the middle ear marked by pain fever dizziness and abnormalities of hearing while otitis media with effusion OME is otitis media accompanied by fluid in the middle ear Merriam-Webster 1995 p 486 The fluid can either be serous or suppurative In the former the fluid is more watery and clear In the latter the fluid is infected and thus more opaque and pussy The biological explanation for otitis media with effusion is that a negative-pressure build-up in the middle ear usually caused by a blocked Eustachian tube draws fluid from the tissues in the middle ear Otitis media with effusion is extremely common in young children and
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