A low-cost and easy-to-use nasal balloon device could offer an effective solution for the 80% of children in the UK that suffer with Glue Ear related hearing loss1, according to a recent report.
Otovent, from Kestrel Medical, offers a simple and non-invasive alternative to antibiotics and surgery in treating Glue Ear by using pressure from a balloon to help drain fluid that gets trapped in the ear and causes hearing problems.
The report, published recently in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)2, found that children using Otovent experienced fewer days with any Glue Ear-related symptoms at both one and three months, compared to those that didn’t. The report also found Otovent to be an effective alternative to unnecessary and ineffective use of antibiotics in children with the condition.
Paediatrician Dr Ranj Singh said:
‘Glue ear can be problematic and frustrating for children and their parents. Despite the potentially significant consequences on development, there has traditionally been little in the way of treatment, other than surgery. Now for the first time, there is a real alternative that has clinically-proven results.'
‘By using an auto-inflation device, parents have a relatively non-invasive and low-cost option for helping to treat their child's glue ear before thinking about surgery, potentially avoiding antibiotics. Such an easy-to-use and effective treatment has been long overdue!’
Glue ear is a common condition that affects around 200,000 children every year in the UK and is most common in children under the age of ten3. It’s caused when a sticky, glue-like fluid fills the middle ear and causes the child to develop hearing difficulties.
The trial, undertaken by Dr Williamson at the University of Southampton, involved 320 children aged 4 to 11 years who had recent histories of glue ear in one or both ears. The children who used Otovent experienced fewer days with any glue-ear related symptoms at both one and three months, compared to those that didn’t (see the video below).
Each year, thousands of children who suffer from the condition undergo surgery to have grommets inserted in their ears, with grommet operations the number one reason for general anaesthetic in children.
Otovent costs £7.84 and is the only clinically proven, non-surgical and drug free treatment for glue ear. Available from pharmacies nationwide, on prescription and online at www.gluear.co.uk/buy.
 Williamson I, Vennik J, Harnden A, Voysey M, Perera R, Kelly S, Yao G, Raftery J, Mant D, Little P. Effect of nasal balloon autoinflation in children with otitis media with effusion in primary care: an open randomized controlled trial. CMAJ, July 2015 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.141608. Available from: