Glue Ear causes

What Is Glue Ear?

Glue ear occurs when liquid is trapped inside your middle ear, and over time it may become thick like glue.

The medical term for glue ear is otitis media with effusion (OME).

It’s common in young children and can last for weeks or months, and can affect hearing, speech, learning and behaviour.

OME is the most common cause of hearing impairment in childhood, where it usually follows an episode of ear infection such as acute otitis media (AOM).

child upset with glue ear
1. Mild to moderate hearing loss
2. Pressure or pain in the ear
3. Balance issues
4. Trouble sleeping
5. Irritability
glue ear symptoms

5 Symptoms of Glue Ear

The main symptom is often mild to moderate hearing loss. Glue ear may cause pain, but many children have no immediately concerning symptoms at all. Therefore it’s a good idea to get your child’s ears checked at least once per year between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. 

Glue Ear

What to Look out for as a Parent or Carer

Some children can experience developmental, psychological and behavioural effects as a result of the impaired hearing caused by glue ear.

Children may have learning difficulties if they cannot properly hear their teacher or class mates. They may also become frustrated, quiet and withdrawn because they have trouble following what is happening around them.

If a child becomes less responsive when being spoken to and they don’t have direct eye contact with a parent or teacher, this is possibly a sign of glue ear. In the case of smaller children and babies, they may become less responsive to sounds.

What do I do if I suspect my child has glue ear?

Hover here to find out!

Book an appointment with a medical professional

Contact your General Practitioner
Call Healthline on 0800 611 116
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