Inala Primary Care
Does your child have glue ear?If your child has difficulty hearing the TV or ear pain, he or she may have a glue ear.
Glue ear occurs when the middle ear is filled with a sticky fluid (like “glue”) after a middle ear infection or head cold. It is most common in 2 - 5 year olds, especially those exposed to cigarette smoke or in group child care.
Glue ear may cause temporary deafness which can delay speech and language development, especially in younger children. Sitting close to the TV or not answering when called may be warning signs. Glue ear can also cause ear pain and irritability.
However, sometimes there are no symptoms. It is a good idea for children who have had a middle ear infection to be checked at the surgery several weeks later to make sure that a glue ear has not developed.
Most cases don’t need treatment
Fortunately, most cases settle slowly without treatment and 90% are better within 3 months. Antibiotics help to clear the fluid more quickly.
When the condition persists, a small operation may be required. Small tubes or “grommets” are inserted into the ear drum for 6 - 12 months to help the fluid to drain out.
This operation is usually a day-only procedure. It is especially important if both ears are affected or there is significant loss of hearing.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.
Source: Autumn 1997 edition of Your Health Newsletter