Glue Ear: Guide

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Medication and other treatments

In the past various treatments have been tried but NICE's latest recommendations (2008: p 13) state that the following treatments are not recommended for the management of OME:

  • antibiotics
  • topical or systemic antihistamines
  • topical or systemic decongestants
  • topical or systemic steroids
  • homeopathy
  • cranial osteopathy
  • acupuncture
  • dietary modification, including probiotics
  • immunostimulants
  • massage.



National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008) ‘Otitis media with effusion in under 12s: surgery.’ [Online] [Accessed: 27 May 2021]

Hoffman, H., Daly, K., Bainbridge, K., Casselbrant, M., Homøe, P., Kvestad, E., Kvaerber, K., Vernacchio, L., (2012) ‘Panel 1: Epidemiology, Natural History and Risk Factors.’ Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 148 (4S)

Simpson, S.,Lewis,R., van der Voort.,J.Butler, C. (2011) ‘Oral or topical nasal steroids for hearing loss associated with otitis media with effusion in children.’ Cochrane Library. Online [Accessed: 27 May 2021]

Qureishi, A., Lee, Y., Belfield, K., Birchall, J. Daniel, M.  (2014) ‘Update on otitis media - prevention and treatment.’ Infection and Drug Resistance (7) pp. 15-24