Glue Ear in Adults
Glue Ear (otherwise known as Otitis Media with Effusion or Serious Otitis Media) is a common medical condition which affects hearing. This can result in communication challenges at work and social difficulties.
The ear is comprised of three parts: the outer ear canal, the middle ear space (where infections occur) and the inner ear where the nerves and balance are located. The upper throat and back of the nasal cavity or Nasopharynx is connected to the middle ear via a canal called the Eustachian tube.
Approximately 1/3 of glue ear sufferers are adults. The condition occurs when the Eustachian tube fills with fluid rather than air, usually due to a common cold. After a while the fluid can become thick and glue like affecting your hearing.
Balance problems can be caused by ear conditions
Using a Louder Volume
You should consult your GP if you are displaying any of the glue ear symptoms. If your GP suspects glue ear as the cause they will likely ask you to observe a “watch and wait” or “active observation” period. This happens because up to 50% of glue ear cases will spontaneously resolve without treatment.
50% of glue ear cases will spontaneously resolve without treatment
If your symptoms persist your GP will refer you to an Audiologist. Using a tympanometry test the Audiologist will diagnose glue ear. At the point of diagnosis, you will likely be asked to continue the active observation period. If the condition persists after this, they will either refer you back to your GP for an Otovent prescription or to an ENT surgeon for grommet surgery.