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What is a glue ear? What are causes and symptoms of glue ear? – Part 1

Glue ear is also referred to as:
– secretory otitis media
– otitis media with effusion
– serious otitis media
• It is an extremely common illness among kids.
• It generally develops in young children, but may develop at all ages and can have an effect on one or both ears.

So how exactly does the ear function?

• The ear is split up into three parts – the outer, middle, and inner ear.
• Sound waves enter into the outer (external) ear and strike the eardrum leading to the eardrum to vibrate.
Behind the eardrum, in the middle ear, are 3 tiny bones (ossicles):
– the malleus
– incus
– then stapes
• The vibrations transfer from the eardrum to those middle ear bones.
• The bones subsequently transmit the vibrations to the cochlea in the internal ear.
• The cochlea transforms the vibrations to audio signals that are delivered down the ear nerve to the brain which we ‘hear’.
• The middle ear behind the eardrum is generally filled up with air which is attached to the back of the nasal area by a thin channel, the Eustachian tube.
• This tube is usually closed.
• On the other hand, every now and then it opens to enable air flow into the middle ear, in order to drain any fluid out.
• This is usually when we swallow, chew or yawn.

What is glue ear?

• Glue ear develops whenever the middle ear fills with a sticky, glue-like substance in place of air.
• This liquid dampens the vibrations created by sound waves since they travel via the eardrum and ossicles.
• The cochlea subsequently experiences dampened vibrations, and so the ‘volume’ of hearing is generally ‘turned down’.
• This is exactly why glue ear kids show signs and symptoms like dulled or apparent ‘selective hearing’.

Psychological Impacts of Glue Ear

• Certain children may also encounter psychological, developmental and behavioral consequences because of dulled hearing as a result of glue ear.
• If glue ear turns out unnoticed, it could indicate children will not understand as well as they may not hear their tutor.
• They could also become frustrated, really feel ignored and become calm and withdrawn because they are unable to follow what exactly is happening around them as easily.
• Even though certain studies have also proven glue ear may also potentially result in difficulties with speech and language development, this is often unlikely to happen in most kids with glue ear.
• However, for people who have any concern about one’s own child’s growth, you ought to contact your GP.

Symptoms of Glue Ear

• The primary symptom related to glue ear is dulled hearing.
• This ranges from a minor muffle to reasonably bad deafness in both ears to deafness in significant situations.
Below are listed possible symptoms apparent in glue ear kids:
– Dulled hearing
Difficulties with:
– Speech
– Language
– Public interaction
• Clumsiness or sense of balance issues.
• Appearing to possess ‘selective hearing’ – for instance, disobeying oral directions.
• Switching up the volume on the TV set, or radio.
• Or usually saying ‘what’ or ‘uh’? Considerably.
• When it comes to babies, being significantly less responsive to sounds.

Otovent Glue Ear Treatment Glue Ear The impact of glue ear on child development

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