Otol Neurotol. 2015 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print]
To investigate the efficacy of medical honey as topical treatment of chronically discharging open mastoid cavities in comparison with conventional eardrops.
Single-center, prospective, randomized controlled, double-dose trial of 12 weeks.
PATIENTS AND INTERVENTION:
Twenty-eight patients diagnosed as having a chronically discharging open mastoid cavity underwent medical honey gel (intervention) or conventional eardrops (control) treatment. Treatment interventions were repeated after 4 weeks.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Visual analogue scale of ear complaints, cavity inflammation, and bacterial infection.
Most patients had a cavity with localized granulation. After treatment, inflammation score decreased in both groups (p < 0.05), with more pronounced inflammation-free cavities in the honey group. Honey treatment resulted in less discomfort (p < 0.001) and otorrhea (p < 0.001), even after correction for additional medication use (p < 0.05, p < 0.01). This decrease was not seen in the control group. Pain and itching did not change on treatment. Most cavities were infected with Pseudomonas species and Staphylococcus aureus. After treatment, a 23% increase of negative culture was seen with honey compared with 30% in the control group (nonsignificant). No serious adverse reactions were found.
Medical honey gel is a safe alternative treatment option for patients with a chronically discharging open mastoid cavity and beneficial in reducing discomfort, otorrhea, and inflammation with a bactericidal effect.