Glue ear is a very common condition in preschool children, resulting in small to moderate transient hearing loss.

What is Glue Ear?

Glue ear (secretory otitis media) occurs when the normally empty middle ear is filled with liquid instead of air. This fluid is usually glue-like and reduces the vibrations of the ear drum and the ossicles, thus making sound harder to pass to the cochlea.

What causes secretory otitis media?

Glue ear.ent

Glue ear

Many things can contribute to glue ear, such as colds and flu, allergies and passive smoking. It’s often but not always linked with ear infections. Malfunctioning eustachian tubes are the main cause of glue ear.

Children with cleft palate, or with genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome, may be more likely to get glue ear as they often have smaller eustachian tubes that don’t function well.