Glue Ear

young girl holding ear in discomfort

Glue ear is the most common cause of hearing loss in children. Glue ear is also known as otitis media with effusion.

Glue ear occurs when the middle ear, that is normally air filled, becomes filled with fluid. The Eustachian tube allows air to enter the middle ear space. When the Eustachian tube becomes blocked, air cannot enter the middle ear and instead fluid enters the middle ear from the surrounding cells. Glue ear can affect the transmission of sound through the middle ear and onto to the inner ear and can, therefore, cause a temporary conductive hearing loss. The severity of the hearing loss varies between children.

Glue ear becomes less common with age as the Eustachian tube widens and becomes more vertical.

Children with Down’s Syndrome and cleft palate are more prone to glue ear as the Eustachian tube is narrower and often does not work as effectively.

For more information on glue ear visit the NDCS website.



If you have been told by the audiologist that a child has Glue ear then you may be advised to try the Otovent device.

Otovent is a small balloon which the child blows up through their nose. The act of blowing up the balloon helps to open up the Eustachian tube, making it easier for fluid to drain from the middle ear. The Otovent balloon equalises the pressure to relieve the symptoms in the middle ear.

For more information, please visit the Otovent website.

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