Secretory Otitis Media(Middle ear effusion) so called Glue ear is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes conductive hearing loss. An operation to clear the fluid and to insert grommets may be advised if glue ear persists.
Myringotomy and Grommet insertion is the common operation. Myringotomy is a tiny cut (about 2-3 mm) made in the eardrum. The fluid is drained and a grommet (ventilation tube) is often inserted.
What is a grommet?
A grommet is a small tube, which is inserted into the eardrum to allow air to pass into the middle ear. It prevents fluid building up again and causing a hearing loss.
Hearing improves immediately.
Grommets allow air into the middle ear. Grommets normally fall out of the ear as the eardrum grows, usually after 6-12 months. By this time the glue ear has often gone away. The incision in the eardrum made for the grommet normally heals quickly when the grommet falls out.
Grommets are so small that you may not notice when they fall out of the ear.
Otolam-Laser Myringotomy-using Co2 laser make a tiny hole in the eardrum and allow drainage has been developed. This has a similar effect to myringotomy and grommet insertion. However, the procedure does not require a general anesthetic as it is done under surface-local anesthetic. So, it may have a place in selected cases.
Post op instruction
Swimming is usually fine. However, it is best to avoid underwater swimming or ducking the head deeply underwater. Some surgeons advise wearing ear plugs when swimming.
Head Bath. Try not to get soapy water into the ears. Don’t duck the head into soapy water. Wash the outside of the ears in the normal way. A cotton wool ball with VaselineÂ® placed in the ear canal could be used to prevent water from getting into the ear.
Flying in a plane is actually easier if you have a grommet in your ear. The grommet allows the pressure of air to equalize between the middle and outer ear. This prevents ear pain during landing and take off.