We hypothesize that if otitis media is most likely primarily a human disease due to consequences of evolution, rhinosinusitis may also be limited to humans for similar reasons. If otitis media, with its associated hearing loss, occurred in animals in the wild, they probably would have been culled out by predation. Similarly, if rhinosinusitis occurred regularly in animals, they likely would have suffered from severely decreased olfactory abilities, crucial for predator avoidance, and presumably would likewise have been selected against evolutionarily. Thus, both otitis media and rhinosinusitis-common conditions particularly in infants and young children-appear to be essentially human conditions. Their manifestation in our species is likely due to our unique evolutionary trajectory and may be a consequence of adaptations, including adaptations to bipedalism and speech, loss of prognathism, and immunologic and environmental factors.
- Otitis media