Glue Ear: Guide

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Acute Otitis Media

Acute Otitis Media is when the fluid in the middle ear is caused by an infection.  The pressure on the eardrum caused by the infected fluid is very painful.  Sometimes the pressure on the eardrum is so great the drum ruptures or perforates.  A doctor may be able to diagnose an ear infection by inspecting the ear using an otoscope.  Compared to a healthy eardrum it will look red and it may be possible to see evidence of fluid behind the ear drum.

Acute Otitis Media can be painful and the child may present with a temperature and signs of a cold.  Ear infections can result in a perforated eardrum and a discharge from the ears.  A young child may show that they are in pain by pulling their ears, crying and disturbed sleep.

On initial presentation with Acute Otitis Media a course of action is recommended by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)

NICE offers management guidelines for persistent Acute Otitis Media.


National Insitute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Otitis media - acute 2023 [Accesses: 9 Sept. 2023]

Rothschild, M., Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat,  The Appearance of a Middle Ear Infections [Online image]. Available at  [Accessed: 9 Sept. 2023].