GLUE EAR (Secretory otitis media)
Symptoms: Children under the age of seven are most commonly affected. Partial deafness in the affected ear. A sensation of fullness in the ear.
Causes: Re current of chronic tonsillitis. Recurrent or chronic infection of the middle ear. Enlarged adenoids. Blockage of the Eustachian tube.
Treatment in the home: None
Possible complications: Permanent deafness in the affected ear, if the condition is not detected or left untreated.
When to call to call a doctor: If deafness is suspected after an ear infection.
What the doctor may do: Examine the affected ear. Test the child’s hearing with a tuning fork or audiometer. Prescribe decongestant to reduce swelling of the Eustachian tube. Advise the insertion of pressure equalizing tubes (grommets) under anaesthetic and refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist. Recommend that the adenoids be removed if they are swollen and are blocking the entrance to the Eustachian tube. In this instance you will again be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist.