The accumulation of fluid behind the ear has been known to cause reduced hearing and deafness in babies and small children. As babies, the consistency of the fluid in our ears is watery and thin. If the fluid’s consistency grows thicker, this results in a condition called glue ear or otitis media with effusion or serious media (SOM).

Surprisingly, this condition is not an infection. The fluid behind the ear is absent of any bacteria or harmful organisms. The most severe symptom of glue ear is hearing loss, but other signs and symptoms may be present, such as the following:

  • Earache
  • Preference for the radio or television to be at very high volume
  • The child routinely asks, “What?” or asks for people to repeat themselves
  • Behavioral problems
  • Frustration due to falling behind with group activities or lessons

Ear ache is a common symptom in children with glue ear, but the pain pales in comparison to the suffering associated with acute middle ear infection. Doctors are sometimes unable to identify the cause of ear ache, as it may not be obvious as to whether the cause is acute infection or glue ear that has progressed over time.

If you suspect that your child may be suffering from glue ear, it’s best to contact your family doctor. An antibiotics treatment may be prescribed if there is an ear ache that cannot be controlled by over-the-counter drugs.

If you are an adult and you think you may be experiencing hearing loss on any level, please contact us today! We’ll schedule an evaluation to determine if further action is needed.