Glue ear also called Secretory Otitis media (OME) is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes conductive hearing around 40 percent. An operation to clear the fluid and to insert grommets may be advised if glue ear persists.
Surgery is advised after a period of treatment with Antibiotics and Antihistamines, and if no avail.
Myringotomy and grommet insertion is the common operation. Myringotomy is a tiny cut (about 2-3 mm) made in the eardrum. The fluid is drained and a grommet (ventilation tube) is often inserted. A grommet is like a tiny button that is put across the eardrum. The grommet lets air to get into the middle ear. Hearing improves immediately.
Removal of the adenoids is sometimes advised. Adenoids are small clumps of glandular tissue (similar to tonsils). They are attached at the back of the nose cavity near to the opening of the Eustachian tube. If the adenoids are large then taking them out may improve the drainage of the Eustachian tube. Adenoids tend to be removed only if the child with glue ear also has persistent or recurring colds or other respiratory infections.
Laser Myringotomy without Grommet insertion is not very successful in my experience.
These operations above only take only few minute to do. They are often done as a ‘day case’. Sometimes an overnight stay in hospital is needed.
After Grommet insertion
Swimming is usually fine. However, it is best to avoid underwater swimming or ducking the head deeply underwater. Some surgeons advise wearing ear plugs when swimming. Always follow any specific advice about swimming from your surgeon.
Bath- Try not to get soapy water into the ears. Don’t duck the head into soapy water. Wash the outside of the ears in the normal way. A cotton wool ball with Vaseline® placed in the ear canal could be used to prevent water from getting into the ear.
Flying in a plane is actually saferr if you have a grommet in your ear. The grommet allows the pressure of air to equalise between the middle and outer ear. This prevents ear pain during landing and take off.
Grommets allow air into the middle ear. Grommets normally fall out of the ear as the eardrum grows, usually after 6-12 months. By this time the glue ear has often gone away. The cut in the eardrum made for the grommet normally heals quickly when the grommet falls out.
Grommets are so small that you may not notice when they fall out of the ear.
When the grommet falls out the problem with glue ear is usually gone. However, sometimes the fluid returns after the grommet falls out and the eardrum heals over. A repeat operation to put a new grommet in is sometimes needed. In some children a grommet is needed several times until glue ear clears for good.
Minor complications after grommet
• An ear discharge develops at some point in about 1 in 20 children with grommets. This is often during or after a cold. This is not usually serious or painful. See your GP about this if it occurs. Antibiotic medicine or ear drops may be prescribed and the discharge usually soon clears. Occasionally, the discharge persists and the grommet needs to be taken out.
• Minor damage and scarring to the eardrum may occur but this is unlikely to cause any problems.
• Rarely, a small hole (perforation) persists in the eardrum after the grommet has come out. A small operation can fix this should it occur.
Please contact the hospital for appointment in advance.
For Appointment- call 04712334564/63/62/61, 6452020,4078299 Fax-0471-2330925