Should parents worry about tube insertion when children have glue ear?

Following is the important conclusion reached by a research paper From Medscape Pediatrics entitled Persistent Otitis Media With Effusion: To Tube or Not to Tube? An Expert Interview With Jack L. Paradise, MD

Jack L. Paradise, MD; Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP

Dr. Paradise: For many years, many thousands of children have been subjected to tube insertion out of concern that the conductive hearing loss caused by their middle-ear effusion could result in sufficient “sensory deprivation” to adversely affect various aspects of their long-term development. As a consequence, in many children tube insertion has been performed for periods of effusion as short as 1 month or less. [13] The concern about children’s development was occasioned by a series of reports, dating from the 1960s, of associations between early-life otitis media and later-life developmental impairments, but without adequate consideration of underlying factors that could have predisposed children to both conditions.

I believe it is now clear that the concern about development is groundless. There is now solid evidence, from our research and some by other investigators, that in otherwise normal children who are free of other problems — and normality is an important qualifier — persistent middle-ear effusion for up to 1 year has no lasting developmental impact. Parents of children with middle-ear effusion need to be made aware of that fact because, even to the present, some of the literature distributed to them continues to warn that persistent effusion can cause long-term problems with their children’s speech, language, learning, and social skills.

The takeaway message from this discussion should be that care providers and parents need not worry about children’s development merely because the children have had fluid in their ears for several months. When the final phase of our study — the assessment of the enrolled children at 9-11 years of age — was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2007,[7] an accompanying editorial stated, “the consistency of the findings…during prolonged follow-up periods provides convincing evidence that persistent middle-ear effusion in otherwise normal children does not cause developmental impairments.”[14] The more broadly that message registers, the larger the number of children who will be spared unnecessary, and potentially harmful, procedures. For the full article go here

Good Genes comment:  It is a pity that we haven’t yet seen a trial that uses chicken soup (home made from bone broths) to clear up mucus in the ears.  This is an old remedy that is certainly worth a try.  Need to keep giving soup regularly until clears.  I will post a good recipe shortly.

About Julie

Nutritionist working in the Brisbane area Queensland Australia.
This entry was posted in Children's conditions, Clinical trials for review, Dietary advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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