Glue ear: Is it something serious to look on?

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It’s a gift of God to experience pleasant and enjoyable sound. Oh, what will you do if your child complains of some buzzing sound or ear pain in his ears? The foremost thing any parent would follow is the age-old remedy of pouring lukewarm oil to remove wax from the child’s ears. Is it something serious we need to look on? Of course, the pain and annoying sensation is something that really irritates your child’s mood. Often your kid’s favorite music sound becomes muddy and now even your favorite brand of speakers grills and kills.

Earwax is the natural substance produced by the sebaceous gland to protect our ears and ear canal. It has antibacterial and lubricating properties but when produced in excess, it starts to build up and lead to ear pain and hearing loss. It’s always good to keep ears clean. As a first step, the most practiced technique we use is cleaning it with earbuds. Even though this is not the most advisable method among experts, it is always better to take your child to a specialist to seek their opinion.  Earbuds are easily available in all online medical stores, medical shops and even in supermarkets.

Consult ENT Specialist for Glue Ear Treatment

What is a glue ear or otitis media with effusion?

As the name suggests, the empty middle part of the ear is filled up with sticky glue-like fluids. Your child can experience temporary hearing loss which can affect one or both the ears. In some children, glue ear can develop after a common cold or cough due to extra mucus production.   

The symptoms may include ear pain, buzzing sound (tinnitus), and dulled hearing which can hinder speech and language development. Other symptoms include missing word or sounds, irritability, struggling to hear from far off people or requesting people to turn up the volume of TV or music.

Does your child require any specific tests?

A visit to an ENT specialist is a must. Diagnosis using the hearing test and ear test can help the specialist rule out the cause and the depth of damage. If your glue ear causes an ear infection, then your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If you have your prescriptions ready, order medicines online for quick delivery.

Treatments:

The treatment options are decided by the child’s specialist. The two main treatments include Grommets and temporary hearing aids to drain out sticky fluids from the middle ear and to keep eardrum open. Very rarely, surgery is recommended to remove adenoids.

Safe methods to remove wax at your home:

A few of the method includes:

  • Over-the-counter medication like hydrogen peroxide, glycerine, mineral oil, and saline are suggested as these can soften the wax. Follow the instructions written on the label before using any ear drop.
  • Say no to cotton swabs as it pushes the wax deeper. It’s good to clean the surrounding area with a warm damp cloth.
  • Don’t irritate your child ears using sharp objects like safety pins, bobby pins or napkin corners. This can damage the eardrum and can permanently result in hearing loss.
Tips to protect ears:
  • Limit the exposure to loud noises
  • Always turn the headphones volume down
  • After swimming, use damp cloth to dry out ears. Excess water can be removed by tilting your child’s head. 
  • Plan a routine ear check-up every 6 months to keep diseases at bay.
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