International forum of allergy & rhinology 2017 11 16() doi 10.1002/alr.22030
Ear symptoms are common among patients presenting to a rhinology clinic. Validated inventories are available for patient quality-of-life in sinonasal disease and Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). This study sought to determine the extent of ETD symptoms, using validated metrics, in a large population of patients presenting to a tertiary rhinology clinic.
Seven-item Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaires (ETDQ-7) and 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Tests (SNOT-22) were prospectively collected from 492 patients treated in a tertiary rhinology clinic. Patient diagnoses were retrospectively determined from the medical record. Correlation between reported SNOT-22 and ETDQ-7 scores were analyzed, in addition to the number of patients meeting the criterion score for ETD.
A total of 213 patients reported mean ETDQ-7 scores >2.1, consistent with a diagnosis of ETD. Overall SNOT-22 scores were strongly correlated with ETDQ-7 scores (r = 0.679, p < 0.001). The SNOT-22 ear subdomain was very strongly correlated with the ETDQ-7 score (r = 0.847, p < 0.001), while there was a moderate correlation with the SNOT-22 rhinologic subdomain (r = 0.486, p < 0.001). Patients with allergic fungal sinusitis had decreased ETDQ-7 scores compared to patients with other rhinologic diagnoses (p = 0.010). CONCLUSION
Symptoms of ETD are common in patients treated in a rhinology clinic, with 43.3% of patients reporting symptom scores consistent with a formal diagnosis of ETD. Increased SNOT-22 scores are correlated with increased ETDQ-7 scores, even when only the SNOT-22 rhinologic subdomain is considered. Patients presenting for treatment of rhinologic symptoms likely have an increased prevalence of otologic symptoms and ETD.