Healthcare Professionals

Research* has shown that in most cases of glue ear medicine is usually ineffective. After children suffering from glue ear have been assessed for the severity and if there are any additional risks, it will often be a case of ‘watching and waiting’. This is due to the fact nearly half of all glue ear cases cure themselves within a three month period.**



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    Connect the balloon to the nose piece.Hold the round part of the nose piece firmly against the right nostril with the right hand.Press the left nostril closed with the left hand.

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    Inhale deeply,close the mouth and inflate the balloon until it is the size of a grapefruit,by blowing through the nostril.

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    Repeat the procedure with the left nostril. You will know that the treatment works if your child experiences a pressure increase and/or a “click” in the ear.Note Maximum 20 inflation per balloon…

Autoinflation and ‘Watchful Waiting’ Period

It is recommended in the NICE guidelines to try using autoinflation with Otovent during the ‘watchful waiting’ period. If there is no improvement within the treatment period, then referral to ENT specialist is necessary to obtain the surgical treatments for severe glue ear cases: grommet insertion and adenoidectomy. More on Treatments

Otovent® both regulates and prevents

Otovent® is the only clinically effective, non-surgical, drug free treatment for glue ear. Regulation of the pressure in the middle ear is a known and important mechanism in the treatment of disorders in the middle ear in children and adults. Normally, the pressure in the middle ear is equalized by swallowing or yawning. If the mechanisms for regulating negative pressure are not fully effective, after a few weeks gluey secretions develop, leading to hearing impairment.

Otovent® is a proven first-line treatment option in which up to 50 percent of patients can avoid the insertion of tympanoplasty tubes.

A two-phase method
Using a nose piece and balloon, a positive pressure is generated in the nasopharynx to equalize the negative pressure in the middle ear via the Eustachian tube. Children view blowing up the balloon as a game, improving compliance and ease of treatment. No negative effects have been reported or demonstrated in clinical trials. The Otovent® method can be divided into two phases; inflation phase and deflation phase.

1 Inflation phase: induction of the Valsalva manoeuvre (forced expiration against a closed airway) increases the pressure within the nasopharynx. Equalization of the middle ear may occur at this stage.

2 Deflations phase: induction of the Politzer manoeuvre (inflating the middle ear while swallowing) inward moving air flows into the middle ear (Eustachian tube opened while swallowing) to equalize the middle ear pressure.

How to diagnose OME

Formal assessment of a child with suspected OME should include***:

• Clinical history taking, focusing on: poor listening skills; indistinct speech or delayed language development; inattention and behaviourproblems; hearing fluctuation; recurrent ear infections or upper respiratory tract infections; balance problems and clumsiness; poor educational progress

• Clinical examination, focusing on: otoscopy; general upper respiratory health; general developmental status

• Hearing testing, which should be carried out by trained staff using tests suitable for the developmental stage of the child, and calibrated equipment

• Tympanometry

***National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, London UK,, ISBN 1-84629-595-5

1. Zeilhuis GA, Rach GH, Broek PV. Screening for otitis media with effusion in pre-school children. Lancet 1989;1:311–314.
2. S-E Stangerup M.D., J. Sederberg-Olsen M.D., V. Balle M.D. Autoinflation as treatment of Secretory Otitis Media. Arch Otolaryngol Head Surg 1992; 118: 149-152.
3. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, London UK,, ISBN 1-84629-595-5