What is Glue ear (Otitis media with effusion)?
Otitis media with effusion (OME) is the most common cause of hearing loss in children in the United Kingdom, and up to 80 % of children are affected by OME by 4 years of age at the time when language development is most rapid, and hearing loss has its greatest effect on language development. Glue ear is characterized by a nonpurulent fluid collection in the middle ear that may be either mucoid or serous. The prevalence of otitis media with effusion is highest in those aged 2 years or younger, and it sharply declines in children older than 6 years. Long lasting glue ear (more than 3 months) can cause speech delay, hearing loss, behavioral issues and recurrent middle ear infections. Please refer to the section on glue ear for more details.