Q5. What is ‘glue ear?’

A5. This is another common ear condition which affects three quarters of all children. It is a severe form of otitis media ' a middle ear infection in which fluid builds up behind the ear drum. This fluid then becomes infected and turns into a sticky, ‘glue-like’ substance which congests the Eustachian tube. This prevents sounds from reaching the ear drum and disrupts hearing.

Sounds tend to become muffled or dulled at this time and the ears feel ‘stuffy’. It can also affect the balance resulting in clumsiness.

Glue ear affects more boys then girls and is more common in the winter.

This infection often clears up without any need for treatment but if you (or your child) suffer from repeated infections or it continues then surgery may be required. This can relieve the build up of fluid and restore hearing to normal.

For more information about these and similar issues visit our children and hearing loss section.

FAQS Index : A guide to Hearing Loss

FAQs Intro

  1. What causes deafness?
  2. Why has my hearing gone worse as I have got older?
  3. Is there more than one type of hearing loss?
  4. Why does my child get lots of ear infections?
  5. What is ‘glue ear?’
  1. Can listening to an MP3 player affect your hearing?
  2. I need a hearing test, what can I expect?
  3. What is a cochlear implant?
  4. What type of hearing aid will suit me?
  5. Will deafness ever be cured?

Hearing Loss

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