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Glue Ear

(35 Posts)
mumchat Mon 24-Dec-12 07:17:34

Glue ear seems to run in my family. My first child had it causing mild hearing loss for up to six weeks at a time. She grew out of it by age 5.

My youngest has been up & down. Three bouts of mild loss & flat line readings. Then much better. At check Aug check they said only one ear had flat line & hearing in both was within normal spectrum.

Following a cold and one night of mild ear pain in early Nov her heat

oohdaddypig Tue 02-Jul-13 13:54:24

Well, Otovent wasn't a rip roaring success for us. DD struggled to use it (she's only 3) and I think the "glue" is so "gluey" that she broke some capillaries in her nose trying to blow so hard and ended up with a bleeding nose. (This was the theory of the doctor that saw her as she's wound up with another ear infection).

however, I don't blame Otovent but I'm going to wait till we see ENT (2 month's waiting time) before trying again.

Interestingly, I've been using the Otovent myself (I have chronic sinusitis) and it's really helped my own ear popping/cracking issues so I'm actually quite impressed with the Otovent, provided it's used properly....

hope this helps anyone else who has read this far.

oohdaddypig Fri 28-Jun-13 13:47:36

Thanks Tina! Will post how I get on...

TinaSurrey Fri 28-Jun-13 10:26:14

No, haven't tried that or anything else. There is video on Otovent website to watch with your child. You or another adult need to inflate it first so child watches you. Also stretch/inflate the balloon a good few times before you try & get child to do it so balloon is softer & inflates more easily. I bribed my little one to use it - with a treat after every session to start with. Now it's just non negotiable like teeth cleaning.

oohdaddypig Thu 27-Jun-13 19:52:15

Thanks - that's helpful. Have ordered one off amazon to try and hopefully can get it on prescription after that. I suppose the disadvantage is complying with using it twice a day - not sure how likely that is with a wilful three year old....

Did you try anything else e.g. Cranial osteopathy?

Thanks again

TinaSurrey Thu 27-Jun-13 16:36:57

Hi, the Otovent balloon definitely definitely helps. If you use two or three times a day you should notice an improvement within a few weeks. It got us from moderate to mild hearing loss.

During a recent v full on cold they couldn't inflate it and hearing was way down. Once the cold subsided we used it again & improvement within days.

Consultant advised to use it on an ongoing basis so its part of our morning & bedtime routine. We also did it after school to try and kick start improvement originally and following the cold.

It's available on prescription. You have nothing to lose by trying for a few weeks. My tip is that once child has mastered inflation get them to tilt their ear towards their shoulder for the side they are inflating the balloon as this makes it more effective.

Hope this helps.

oohdaddypig Thu 27-Jun-13 15:00:03

Hi mumchat - was just reading this thread with interest. Would you mind updating as to whether you would recommend the balloon thingy?

Dd, age nearly 4, diagnosed with persistent glue ear and moderate hearing loss. I would like to avoid grommets if there is a reasonable alternative.

In terms of anyone who has gone dairy free, have you gone entiry dairy Free or do you use goat/sheep products?


mumchat Fri 11-Jan-13 20:16:24

I hope hope you manage to get an improvement and I know how you feel about school. It was breaking my heart. Luckily she was winning with phonics before loss went right down to moderate but I know she missed so much when it did. Not just academically but socially too. One of my good friends even laughed at her when she was taking to her & my daughter kept saying "what?"I know she didn't mean it but it demonstrated to me how little people understand and make allowances.

Lets hope as we move out of winter towards spring better times are ahead for these glue ear sufferers. Do keep us posted on how things are going.

mumchat Fri 11-Jan-13 20:07:55

Hi DewDrop,
Oh yes do try the Otovent again. I am 100% convinced that it is this that has helped. We now use twice a day as three times not really possible as the gap between getting home from school & bedtime is only 2.5 hours. That said I'd have kept with 3x if we'd not had such an improvement. It is truly unbelievable the difference. I get her to lean the ear towards her shoulder & that makes it more effective.

She hated it at first, found ballon hard to inflate, didn't like her ear "crackling" and even complained about the smell of the balloon but you can motivate them to do anything if you are determind enough. We all cheered, had chocolate reward, she could choose a chocolate to give her sister (sister loved this so that made her happy). We went to the park "because you did so well with your balloon" etc and now it's matter of fact and part of getting washed & dressed routine in the morning & part of bath/bedtime routine at night. So worth it.

We were told to come back 2-3 months for repeat test. I expected to be there with non hearing child and getting referral for aids or grommets but when app came through it was for date we couldn't ideally do so I called to move it & they gave me one towards end of Jan so I just took it. If they say anything when I go I'll just say I thought they must have known and it was ok. Truth is I can't wait to have her re-tested to see the results. We will have done exactly 3 weeks of Otovent then which is recommended course.

She is so much happier and I am so relieved. Will report back on HT results.

sipper Fri 11-Jan-13 00:09:49

Hi mumchat Great to read there's an improvement. That's such good news!

Hi DewDr0p your poor DS3, that sounds really tough. Have you tried: diet (cut down on dairy, sugar, oranges ...trying to rack my brains for other mucus-forming glue ear problem foods); plus probiotic on tongue last thing in evening (Biokult is a good one to try; open the capsule and pour onto tongue); and cranial chiropractor for gentle neck and jaw adjustments and also to look at jaw position as linked to glue ear in many cases (if chiro is experienced in paeds then should also know whether needs to refer to orthodontist or whether anything needs helping jaw-wise). Cranial chiropractor who uses SOT technique is a good one to see. I hope things get better for him v soon.

DewDr0p Thu 10-Jan-13 23:16:12

Hi mumchat

Ds3 has persistent glue ear - at his first hearing test they said his hearing was "as bad as glue ear gets" As he has associated speech issues and it was so bad, we didn't have to watch and wait and he had grommets fitted/ adenoids removed in Oct 11. The op was so straightforward and the results amazing. Unfortunately by Feb 12 they had both come out sad and apparently his hearing was no longer bad enough to automatically operate. At my insistence he was referred for hearing aids - then over the summer his ears improved massively and he didn't need them. As winter has set in it's got much worse again and he got a hearing aid for his left ear a few months ago. It's going really well - much easier than I expected - and it's helping. But the hearing aid is set to the level of hearing the last time you saw audiology and I think his hearing has got worse since. The other good thing about the hearing aid is he now gets support in school from Hearing Support - his HS teacher (also called Teacher of the Deaf or ToD) comes in to see him once a half term.

Def look at NDCS website, there are some excellent info sheets on there.

I'm very worried about him. His school are giving him lots of support but progress at school is still very slow. Phonics is just so hard when you can't hear. And he gets so very tired.

Must have another go at the Otovent, we tried once and he managed it but refused to do it again!

Clinging to the knowledge that his ears did improve and they most likely will again. Shame it was in the school hols when it was less critical though!

mumchat Sun 06-Jan-13 04:16:27

Just to update. Hearing dropped last week of Nov (test in Dec showed moderate loss - having only been mild before).

Started Otovent on new years eve 3 times a day (after a few practise goes in the few days prior) and only a week in and we are definately noticing an improvement.

We are going to do three weeks so will post back for anyone interested.

sipper Wed 02-Jan-13 10:06:45

Hi mumchat

Yes give probiotic (Biokult capsule opened and poured on tongue last thing in evening) and avoid sugar (I know it's blooming hard as it is everywhere and not just in the obvious things but it's in sausages, ham, bacon, smoked salmon, pasta sauces - ugh!).

If you can't avoid sugar altogether at least ditch sweets and high sugar fruits such as grapes, red apples (have green), bananas (bananas are so good though on many other counts so don't ditch forever). Also don't have mucus-forming foods such as oranges (juice or fruit). To combat the glue ear you are trying to deal with the build up of that's caused it (the glue!).

The breathing and sleeping questions were about determining if there are physiological factors contributing, on the basis that the body is one interconnected system, not a series of isolated points. With a little unravelling a cause and then a solution could be found. If you can resolve the root cause then you can reduce the likelihood of further incidences. Cranial chiropractor and an orthodontist are both very good people to consult with as they will look at bite and jaw position to see what's going on with the eustachian tubes/jaw development and position. (Need to be up to speed with the latest thinking and not the old school orthodontists who like to remove teeth!).

Best wishes for sorting and Happy New Year.

incywincyspideragain Mon 31-Dec-12 15:31:31

I'd forgotten about that too slipper we cut squash and juice to reduce most of sugar in ds's diet and did the probiotic at night time on tongue for a while, which we don't do now but still have a regular one sprinkled on food - not sure if its made too much difference as like you mumchat hardly any ear infections, ds3 had horrible outer ear one (may and it came back for 3 weeks in Nov) but that was outer ear so not sure inside mouth stuff would have helped

mumchat Mon 31-Dec-12 08:18:01

P.s - apologies not sure I answered your earlier Qs.

Is she a mouth breather? No. (her older sister is more so but she has grown out of her glue ear).

What's her sleeping like? Asleep at seven, awake 5.30-6.00 only wakes in between to go to the loo.

mumchat Mon 31-Dec-12 08:12:55

I have never heard of removing sugar! There goes my plan to encourage otovent use with chocolate coin! She has never had an ear infection - does your advice re sugar and probiotic supplements still apply or is that just in relation to infections?

sipper Sun 30-Dec-12 22:49:47

Been pondering glue ear today (long car journey!) and realised I'd forgotten to mention a few important things for combatting glue ear (and/or ear infections):

Remove sugar from the diet - I know it's an obvious one, so apologies for mentioning, but sometimes good to be reminded about the obvious stuff as a reminder. Sugar is an immune suppressant so best removed from diet when fighting any infection/illness, but extremely important in ear infection/glue ear as directly connected to flora in the mouth, eustachian tubes etc.

Take a good quality probiotic - Biocare is very good. Another good one for glue ear is Biokult. Take last thing in the evening and pour directly onto the tongue. For the Biokult one, open the capsule and pour onto the tongue in order for it to be delivered where needed.

Look at jaw function/position/bite. Is the patient a mouth breather? All important considerations in determining the actual cause of glue ear (and repeat ear infections). Talk to a knowledgeable orthodontist (not the kind who removes teeth (outdated idea!) but the kind who understands about the physiology of the jaw/face/airways and how it all impacts on health issues such as glue ear. (If you are in the south east a good dentist/paediatric orthodontic expert is Andre Hedger ) . Also see a cranial chiropractor (especially one who uses SOT - a particular type of technique - make sure experienced in paeds - a knowledgeable London and also Surrey cranial chiro is Julian Keel ) .

Ask loads of questions, find fab people who can help you find the root cause and hopefully you can get things sorted x

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Sun 30-Dec-12 21:51:03
You can choose any of these free on NHS, also glitter, coloured, mixed....loads of choice

Our aids look like these:
again all on nhs

mumchat Sat 29-Dec-12 21:49:36

Thanks - does anyone know why the above info isn't showing as a link?

I would like to have the info and will copy & paste it tomorrow when have laptop not just my phone.

Tried Otovent for 1st time this eve. Watched the little " how to use" video on their website with our daughter so she could see the little child on there do it. We had bigged it up all day about how clever it would be to do it. First her Dad did it (like the Dad in the video).

She then tried 4 times really hard - no luck, balloon didnt inflate & she got disheartened. Quick thinking I suggested trying the other nostril & yipee she did it. Then went back to 1st side & she did that too. It must have felt odd as she didnt want to repeat it but I am determind we will do it 3 times a day for 3 weeks as per instructions. I will use the Xmas chocolates as rewards if needs be!! Wish me luck...

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Fri 28-Dec-12 22:26:02
You can choose any of these free on NHS, also glitter, coloured, mixed....loads of choice

Our aids look like these:
again all on nhs

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Fri 28-Dec-12 22:12:30

Mumchat "Regarding the hearing aids. Do they come on the NHS? Are they a "stock" thing or unique to a specific child? Could she have them whilst we wait the next 2-3 months for follow up hearing test? It was exactly a month from significant drop in hearing to the test this month and if we wait a further three that will be four months with moderate loss in both ears. That is incredibly debilitating for her."

Yes, digital hearing aids are recommended by NICE and are programmed for your child's specific loss. They come in all sorts of colours and moulds, they are very smart looking, not like old nhs ones! Will add some links for you. If our DS is still suffering from Glue Ear by end of reception we will go for surgery, but the hearing aids are great, swimming and baths are all without worries of infections etc. If he was struggling with the aids I would go for surgery, but as it is he is fine and we may avoid surgery if he grows out of glue by the summer.

mrslaughan Fri 28-Dec-12 14:20:09

Just to add - DS has had 3 sets of grommets - DD doesn't have the same problems with ear infections and glue ear.
I tried everything with DS - Diet, osteopathy, chiropractors, etc etc etc, the only thing that has made a significant difference is grommets.
He has has significant educational issues because of the severity of his glue ear - bollocks about the adaptability. Glue ear is actually more of an issues in some ways than hearing loss, because the hearing comes and goes, so they actually never develop proper coping mechanisms.

If her hearing is coming and going - get it properly checked and minitored by an audiologist and go from there.

incywincyspideragain Fri 28-Dec-12 10:42:21

As mum of 3 ds's all having had grommets (one twice) so far and a should who had 3-4 sets I believe there can be a genetic predisposition. In our case part of its geometry (shape of heads and more horizontal tubes) and partly diet.
We went for grommets as ds1 was almost 5 by the time we were allowed to see ENT, he was struggling at School and had no grasp of phonics, he finished reception unable to read sad
ENT consultant recommended dairy free diet based on his experience (no medical evidence) and it worked for us, ds2 had to have 2 sets if grommets in less than 12 months but his annedoids and tonsils reduced in size to no longer be a problem after being dairy free, he also stopped being so snotty and dribbley and snoring.
Cranial has been too expensive for us to consider but I've heard of others recommending it. The ovent balloon is available on prescription but ds2 and ds3 too little to use it and the impact of ds1's learning to significant to leave it to try but worth asking ENT.
Push for an ENT referral now based on age especially if struggling at School, that should get some weight behind it, speak to your HV. You need to consider hearing aids or grommets if its affecting learning IMO, ds1 is 6 and catching up but is struggling, his social skills are behind too also he is bright so very frustrated that he's struggling.
Only ds3 has speech difficulty, he starts school next year.
I'm on my phone so can't post links but have a look at NCDS parents discussion, they have some good advice on glue ear too and take it seriously, also google NICE guidelines on surgical management of glue ear so you know what to expect if you choose that option. Sorry no idea about hearing aids but the NCDS might have some info. I also had a link for teachers advice for glue....
Good luck, glue ear is not great and the words 'temporary' 'fluctuating' 'moderate hearing loss' don't help people understand the impact it has

Longdistance Fri 28-Dec-12 00:16:05

My dd1 has just been suspected of having glue ear. We've seen an audiologist, and the hearing machine came back as some blockage.
We have an appointment with a specialist in about 2 weeks time, which I'm quite looking forward to, so we can get some proper answers. Her speech has been effected, and she's a little naughty with it.
Dd is 3.3, and her speech has been terrible, and still is for her age. I know I shouldn't compare, but my dd who's 18 mo speaks, and is as clear as a bell. She says dd1's name clearer than dd1 can confused so there have been some signs for us, that it must be her hearing.
Dodgy hearing runs in my dh's family he has selective hearing too and mil is as deaf as a post.
Dd I certainly not saying some words right, so obviously not hearing certain sounds.
Would be rather interested in the chiropractic treatment.

sipper Thu 27-Dec-12 23:44:31

I have found cranial chiropractic treatment to be very successful for resolving glue ear without the need for grommets. Visit one experienced in paediatrics and ask them to also look at the jaw as misaligned jaw is associated with repeat glue ear. Sort the jaw and the cranial stuff and the glue ear cause can be removed. Worked very well for my DC's. (P.S. I'm not talking about cranial osteopathy, this is cranial chiropractic, which I have found more effective with my DC's). Is she a mouth-breather? What's her sleeping like?

mrslaughan Thu 27-Dec-12 21:05:51

What about grommets?

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