health and safety for babies and children · Premature Baby news

What is glue ear?

 

 

In many cases glue ear does not begin with an ear infection.

Glue ear is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue like fluid instead of air and because of this it causes dull hearing. in most cases specialists use treatment with a ballon that is blown up by the child using their nose this may help to treat the glue ear.

Middle ear problems are very common in childhood and usually cure themselves over time. Avoidance of irritants such as frequent swimming in heavily chlorinated pools and exposure to cigarette smoke may help to speed natural recovery. In many cases no treatment is necessary, but regular hearing tests and check-ups will be required.

If the glue ear still persists an operation may be necessary to insert grommets. Hearing aids are the best treatment for some children but placement of grommets in the eardrums is the most commonly used treatment for children with persistent problems. A grommet is a small plastic tube, which helps to ventilate the middle ear and discourage the glue from forming. The grommet acts like an artificial Eustachian tube, equalising air pressure with atmospheric pressure. While they are in place the hearing is usually normal.

The cause of glue ear is though to be that a tube called Eustachian tube doesn’t work properly which causes the balance of fluid and air to be altered due to the tube either being narrow, blocked, or not open properly. Air in the middle may gradually pass into nearby cells if it is not replaces by air coming up the eustachian tube. a vaccum may then develop in the ear which may cause fluid to step into the middle of the ear from nearby cells.

Some children develop glue ear after a cough, cold or an ear infection when extra mucus in made. Symptoms for glue ear are dulled hearing, pain, development and behavior maybe affected in a small number of cases.

 

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