In a previous blog about glue ear we talked about the things that you could do to help your child hear. In this blog, we will be looking at the use of Otovents to manage glue ear without surgery. Glue ear is where fluid builds up behind the eardrum and in the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the throat and it helps equalise the pressure in the ears. When we go up a hill or fly, it is this area of the middle ear that makes our ears ‘pop’. One in five children will suffer glue ear before the age of two years. Eight in ten children will have had glue ear at least once by the time they are ten years old (NICE guidance). For most of these children the glue ear will go away by itself, usually within three months. Unfortunately it can be very persistent in some children. For these children there are often repeat visits to the GP and then an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. Surgery or temporary hearing aids might be recommended. Surgery for glue ear includes draining the fluid from the middle ear (myringotomy) and then inserting grommets (miniature tubes). Occasionally ENT may recommend that the tonsils or adenoids are also removed. See the NDCS leaflet on glue ear. Before referral to ENT the audiologist might suggest parents try an Otovent. http://www.gluear.co.uk/parents/faqs/. This might also be suggested while parents are monitoring their child’s hearing, known as ‘watch and wait’.