REFERRED OTALGIA IN EKITI, NIGERIA
Waheed Atilade Adegbiji and Gabriel Toye Olajide*
Background: Referred otalgia is defined as ear ache due to diseases in organs around the ear or other head and neck organs. This resulted from complex nervous connections in the ear, head and neck organs. This study aimed at determining the clinicoepidemiological patterns, impact on quality of life and aetiology of referred otalgia in Ekiti state university teaching hospital, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective hospital based study of patients with diagnosis of referred otalgia in ear, nose and throat department of Ekiti state university teaching hospital, Ado Ekiti. The study was carried out over a period of one year; (May 2016 to April 2017). Consent was obtained from the patients. Data were obtained by using pretested interviews assisted questionnaire. Data obtained were collated and analyzed by using SPSS version 16.0. Results: A total of 2,616 patients were seen out of which a total of 116 patients had referred otalgia. The age group 21-30 year has the highest prevalence of 27.6%.There were 66.3% males and 33.7% females given a male to female ratio of 2:1. Majority (89.1%) of the studied patients were Christian. About 42.2% of our patients are secondary school leavers. Majority (61.2%) are married. About 26.7% were students/apprentice and 24.1% of them were civil servants. In this study, majority of the referred otalgia patients were secondary to tonsillitis in 28.4% of them. The findings in this study revealed higher proportion (58.6%) of our patient had single attack of referred otalgia while over 41.4% had recurrent referred otalgia. Unilateral referred otalgia accounted for 75.0% while bilateral otalgia accounted for 25.0%, with predominantly right ear involvement in 41.4% of our patients. Majority of the studied patients noticed 37.9% sleep disorder, 56.9% absenteeism and 44.8% social functioning. Prior to presentation in ENT department about 50% of the patients had over the counter medication. Conclusion: Referred otalgia is a common otological presenting complaint in otorhinolaryngological practice. The age group 21-30 year has the highest prevalence of 27.6% and tonsillitis is the commonest cause. Diagnosis requires thorough history and examination of head and neck organs.
Keywords: Otalgia, Referred Otalgia, Ear Neuroanatomy, Ear Diseases.
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