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Glue ear

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Introduction
Glue ear is a common childhood condition in which the middle ear becomes filled with fluid. The medical term for glue ear is otitis media with effusion (OME).
Symptoms of glue ear
The symptoms of glue ear can affect one or both ears. The most common sign of the condition is mild or moderate hearing loss.
Causes of glue ear
The exact cause of glue ear is unknown, but it seems to be caused by a problem with a part of the body called the Eustachian tube.
Diagnosing glue ear
Your GP will ask you about your child's symptoms and whether you've noticed any changes in the pattern of their behaviour, such as changes in their speech.
Treating glue ear
For the first three months after glue ear has been diagnosed, a policy of "active observation" will usually be recommended.
Complications of glue ear
Find out the complications of glue ear, including some delay in a child's speech and language development, particularly if their loss of hearing is prolonged.
Preventing glue ear
As the cause of glue ear isn't fully understood, there is no known way of preventing the condition.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Glue Ear treatment and what the next steps might be.