Physical Health

Glue Ear


It is another name for otitis media with effusion (OME) which mostly affects young children. Infection of the middle ear often leads to this condition.



Temporary hearing loss is the most common symptom. Either one or both ears can be affected.

Symptoms may also include:

  • Pain in the ear or earache
  • Hearing ringing or buzzing sounds (tinnitus).


Your child may have difficulty hearing if they:

  • Become more loud or quiet
  • Get people to repeat their sentences
  • Turn up the TV or music loudly
  • Due to the difficulty of listening, they seem tired and irritable.


Glue ear occurs when fluid accumulates in the middle part of the ear without draining down the Eustachian tube as it should. An Eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the throat.



Glue ear usually disappears on its own within three months. If it doesn’t improve, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon may recommend inserting a grommet, a tiny tube that provides ventilation temporarily to the eardrum. By doing this, air enters the middle ear and fluid drains down the Eustachian tube.

In some cases, hearing aids are recommended over surgery if other health problems prevent surgery or if grommets haven’t worked in the past and glue ear persists.


To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.


To learn more about glue ear, please click on


Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych

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