NEW YORK — A nose spray containing a naturally occurring probiotic or "good" bacteria may be an effective treatment for children with chronic secretory otitis media — a condition involving persistent drainage of fluid from the ear that usually results from ear infections.
In a study, the probiotic nose spray got rid of all or nearly all of the ear fluid present in a significant number of children with the problem, clinicians from Sweden report.
"The results are very promising, and in the future, bacterial treatment might reduce hearing problems, and postpone or even render surgery unnecessary in many cases," Dr. Susann Skovbjerg from the University of Gothenburg told Reuters Health.
Insertion of tubes to drain the fluid, she said, "might be avoided in children with long-standing secretory otitis media."
In a prior study, treatment with a nose spray containing the probiotic viridans streptococci was successful in cutting recurrences of acute otitis media and tonsillitis, Skovbjerg and colleagues note in a report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.