Glue Ear: Essential Info For Parents

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Our ears tend to be a part of our body we don’t think of much. They hear things, hold up our glasses, and… actually, that’s about it.

For children, however, the picture is very different. Children are susceptible to all kinds of problems with their ears, with chronic infections being a staple of many a childhood experience. As a parent, you’re always going to want to ensure your child is happy and comfortable, which is why ear problems can be so damaging. They’re painful and, if left untreated, can have real repercussions on speech and language development.

One of the more serious, though still common, ear-related conditions that impacts children is known as “glue ear”. Any parent can find themselves battling with glue ear at any time, so here’s all the essentials you need to know about it.

What Is Glue Ear?

Glue ear is a condition where the inner ear is blocked by fluid. It is incredibly common in children; you may have even suffered it yourself. It’s possible for children of any age — from babies through to teenagers – to experience the condition.

While glue ear is not dangerous in and of itself, it can present significant life-damaging effects if left untreated.

What Are The Symptoms?

There are a variety of symptoms for glue ear, but the most recognisable to you as a parent are:

  • Hearing loss
  • Complaints of mild ear pain
  • Balance problems
  • Your child telling you they can hear things that aren’t there (tinnitus)

What Should I Do If I Suspect My Child Has Glue Ear?

If you suspect that your child has glue ear, then the best first step would be to speak to a Dr online for advice. Helpfully, you can do this far quicker than you can find a doctor’s appointment, and it gives you the option to discuss your observations and your child’s symptoms without the need for an intrusive appointment. This doctor will then tell you whether a full, investigative appointment is necessary, or correct any misconceptions you might have. With your mind put at rest, you can take the next course of action as you see fit.

What Are The Treatments For Glue Ear?

For most cases, glue ear will resolve of its own accord. If the condition becomes chronic, then it might be necessary for your child to undergo an operation to insert grommets. Grommets are hollow tubes placed in the ear canal, which allow fluid and air to circulate. Your doctor will be able to guide you on whether or not this is going to be necessary, but bear in mind that most children handle the insertion of a grommet very well.

Is Glue Ear Connected To Repeated Ear Infections?

There is no definitive evidence to suggest this in terms of medical studies; glue ear can be caused by a number of factors, such as a cold, allergies, or even congenital issues. However, if your child does have repeated ear infections, they are more likely to develop glue ear – so keep an eye out for the symptoms.

Glue ear isn’t fun for you or your suffering child, but with the right identification and treatment, it’s definitely a battle you can win.


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