Glue Ear: Guide

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Medication and other treatments

In the past various treatments have been tried but NICE's latest recommendations (2023) state that the following treatments are not recommended for the management of OME:​

  • homeopathy
  • cranial osteopathy
  • acupuncture
  • dietary modification, including probiotics
  • massage.

  The Ottis media with effusion in under 12s NICE Guideline (2023) states:

1.5.2 Do not offer antibiotics to treat OME. [2023]
1.5.3 Do not offer oral or nasal corticosteroids for OME or OME-related hearing loss. [2023]
1.5.4 Do not offer antihistamines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, mucolytics, proton pump inhibitors and anti-reflux medications, or decongestants for OME or OME-related hearing loss.[2023]



National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2023) ‘Otitis media with effusion in under 12s.’ [Online] [Accessed: 9 September 2023]

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