What is Glue Ear?

February 8, 2019| Health and Wellbeing /

Glue ear can be a really common concern for young children. It’s important to know the signs, and when you should seek medical attention.

Glue ear occurs when the liquid inside the middle ear gets trapped and becomes thick like glue. It can last for weeks or months, and can affect hearing, speech, learning and behaviour. Children who live in a “smoking home” are more prone to glue ear.

There is not always a specific or clear sign that your child has glue ear but here are some symptoms that should be checked out;

If your child:

  • Has problems with hearing

  • Struggles with balance

  • Describes a feeling of pressure or pain inside the ear

  • Is irritable with no other reason

There are a few treatment options for glue ear depending on how severe it is.

Your doctor might take a wait and watch approach if the case is mild. However more serious cases may need treatment with antibiotics to help clear the fluid.

If your child has reoccurring glue ear your doctor may suggest grommets which are inserted into your child’s ear during an operation and assist with draining fluid and improving hearing.

It’s important to remember that if you notice any problems with your ears, or your child’s ears, you should always see your doctor.

Epworth offers paediatrics services, including Victoria’s largest private paediatrics ward at Epworth Richmond and a dedicated 24/7 emergency department. You can find more information here.

Erin Giansiracusa


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