Glue ear "Glue ear in adult" a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes dulled hearing. In most cases it clears without any treatment. An operation to clear the fluid and to insert ventilation tubes grommets may be advised if glue ear persists. Glue ear means that the middle ear is filled with fluid that looks like glue. It can affect one or both ears. The fluid has a deadening effect on the vibrations of the eardrum and tiny bones ossicles created by sound.
These affected vibrations are received by the cochlea and so the volume of the hearing is turned down.
Glue ear usually occurs in young children but it can develop at any age. Glue ear is sometimes called otitis media with "Glue ear in adult" OME. The ear is divided into three parts - the outer, middle and inner ear. Sound waves come into the outer external ear and hit the eardrum, causing the eardrum to vibrate. The vibrations pass from the eardrum to the middle-ear bones ossicles. These bones then transmit the vibrations to the cochlea in the inner ear.
The cochlea converts the vibrations to electric signals which are sent down the ear nerve to the brain. The brain interprets these signals as sound.
For more information about the structure of the ear and how hearing works, see the separate leaflet called Hearing Problems. Your ears do the remarkable job of allowing you to hear a huge range of sounds, from a whisper t The middle ear behind the eardrum is normally filled with air.
The middle ear is connected to the back of the nose by a thin channel, the Eustachian tube. This tube is normally closed.
However, from time to time usually when we swallow, chew or yawnit opens to let air into the middle ear and to drain any fluid out. The cause is Glue ear in adult due to the Eustachian tube not working properly. The balance of fluid and air in the middle ear may become altered if the Eustachian tube is narrow, blocked, or does not open properly. Air in the middle ear may gradually pass into the nearby cells if it is not replaced by air coming up the Eustachian tube.
A vacuum may then develop in the middle ear. This may cause fluid to seep into the middle ear from the nearby cells. Some children develop glue ear after a cough, cold Glue ear in adult, or ear infection when extra mucus is made.
The mucus may build up in the middle ear and not drain well down the Eustachian tube. However, in many cases glue ear does not begin with an ear infection. By 10 years of age, 8 out of 10 children will have had at least one episode of OME.
It is most common between the ages of 2 and 5 years. Boys are more commonly affected than girls. Most cases occur in winter.
It is more common in children who:. The cause of glue ear is not fully understood and there is no way of preventing most cases. However, the risk of developing glue ear is less in children who live in homes free of cigarette smoke and who are breast-fed.
This is the main symptom. Your child's hearing does not go completely and the "Glue ear in adult" loss is often mild.
However, the severity of hearing loss varies from child to child, is sometimes quite severe and can vary from day to day in the same child.
Hearing varies according to the thickness of the fluid and other factors. For example, it is often worse during colds. Older children may say if their hearing is dulled. However, you may not notice dulled hearing if your child is younger, particularly if only one ear is affected.
You may find that your child turns Glue ear in adult TV or radio up loud, or often says "What? Babies may appear less responsive to normal sounds. This is not usually a main symptom but mild earache may occur from time to time. Children and babies may pull at their ears if they have mild pain. However, the gluey fluid is a good food for germs bacteria and ear infections are more common in children with glue ear. This may then cause bad earache for the duration of an infection.
Always have some painkiller in your home in case earache develops. If dulled hearing is not noticed
Glue ear in adult children may not learn so well at school if they cannot hear the teacher.
Your child may also become frustrated if they cannot follow what is going on. They may feel left out of some activities. They can become quiet and withdrawn if they cannot hear so well. There has been concern that dulled hearing from glue ear may cause problems with speech and language development.
This in turn was thought perhaps to lead to poor school achievement and behavioural problems. However, research studies that have looked at this issue are reassuring. The studies showed that, on average, children with glue ear had no more chance or just a little more chance of having long-term Glue ear in adult problems or poor school performance compared with children without glue ear.
However, these studies looked at the overall average picture. There is still a concern that the development of some children with glue ear may be affected - in particular, some children with untreated severe and persistent glue ear.
So, in short, developmental delay including speech and language is unlikely to occur in most children with glue ear. However, if you have any concern about your child's Glue ear in adult, you should tell a doctor. Research has also detected a link between glue ear and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD as well as anxiety and depression.
The outlook is usually good. Many children only have symptoms for a short time. The fluid often drains away gradually, air returns and hearing then returns to normal. Some children have several episodes of glue ear which cause short but repeated recurring episodes of reduced hearing.
The total time of reduced hearing in childhood may then add up to many months. A referral to an ear, nose and throat ENT specialist may be advised at some point. This may be straightaway for babies who have hearing loss. This is to rule out other serious causes of hearing loss.
It may be after a period of watchful waiting in older children who previously had good hearing. Hearing tests and ear tests can confirm the cause of hearing loss and show how bad the hearing has become. Various medicines have been tried to help clear glue ear.
For example, antihistamines, steroids, decongestants, antibiotics and medicines to thin mucus. However, research studies have shown that none of these medicines works in the treatment of glue ear.
No treatment is usually advised at first as the outlook is good. Typically, a doctor may advise that you wait three months to see if the glue ear clears. Watchful waiting is sometimes called active monitoring. Watchful waiting isn't usually an option for some children - eg, those with Down's syndrome or cleft palate.
For this treatment a special balloon is blown up by the child using
Glue ear in adult nose. This is called auto-inflation. It puts back pressure into the nose and may help to open up the Eustachian tube and allow better drainage of the fluid.
The child needs to do this regularly until the fluid clears. The research studies that looked into this treatment found that it seems to help in some cases but not all.
It may improve middle ear function and reduce the need for an operation. It is difficult for young children to do properly. With well-motivated older children who can use the device, it may be worth a try. It is not thought to cause any side-effects or problems. A small operation may be advised by an ear specialist if your child's glue ear persists, or is severe.
This involves inserting small tubes called grommets see below. The operation isn't done as often as it used to because it is now realised that most cases of glue ear get better without treatment.
Also there isn't a lot of evidence that surgery makes much difference to a child's speech or language development. Hearing aids are an option instead of an operation to insert grommets in children with hearing loss who have glue ear in both ears. The hearing aids would usually only be used for the time until the glue ear clears away.
You and your child should have an opportunity to discuss this option with the specialist and your views should be taken into account. The anxiety caused to some children by having to wear aids sometimes outweighs the benefits. The operation is usually done as a day case, and usually an overnight stay in hospital is not needed.
Glue ear is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes Rarely, some adults are troubled with glue ear. ear and hearing or problems in later life with language skills. Is glue Glue ear in adult common in adults? Glue ear is uncommon in adults. It can follow on from a bad head.
Eight out of 10 children have had glue ear at least once by the time they are It's most common between the ages of one and six. Adults can also get glue ear.