Glue ear & Ear infections

Ear infections or an episode of “glue ear”

Glue ear is one of the most common childhood and can be lined to ear infections. It is usually temporary, resolving spontaneously in most cases. However it can be persistent in 20% of cases causing a mild to moderate conductive hearing loss. Some conditions contribute to an incident of glue ear: colds, flu, allergen passive smoking. cleft palate or genetic conditions linked with Down Syndrome have higher incidence of glue ear. 

The main symptom associated with glue ear is dulled hearing, which ranges from a slight muffle to moderately bad deafness in both ears to deafness in extreme cases. Below is a list of possible symptoms evident in glue ear children:

  • Dulled hearing
  • Problems with speech, language or social interaction
  • Clumsiness or balance problems
  • Appearing to have 'selective hearing' - for example, disobeying verbal instructions
  • Turning up the volume on the television, or radio, or often saying 'what' or ‘uh’? a lot
  • In the case of babies, being less responsive to sound

Hearing solutions treatment for glue ear:

  • watchful wait period as per NICE guidelines: The persistence of bilateral OME/glue ear and hearing loss should be confirmed over a period of 3 months before intervention is considered. The child's hearing should be re-tested at the end of this time.
  • Otovent: Clinically proven first-line treatment option to help avoid the surgical insertion of a tube into the eardrum. It is a nonsurgical, drug-free treatment for Glue Ear and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.
  • Referral to ENT: Children with persistent bilateral OME documented over a period of 3 months with a hearing level in the better ear of 25–30 dBHL or worse averaged at 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz (or equivalent dBA where dBHL not available) should be considered for surgical intervention or where the impact of the hearing loss on a child's developmental, social or educational status is judged to be significant