Nasal Balloons Help Treat ‘Glue Ear’ in Children

News For The Blind

For the many children who sometimes suffer from otitis media with effusion (OME), also known as “glue ear,” autoinflation using nasal balloons might be the first evidence-based, non-surgical treatment option, an open-label study indicated.

Among 320 children ages 4 to 11 with OME randomized to treatment with nasally inflatedOtovent balloons three times daily plus usual care, or to usual care alone, 49.6% of the balloon-treated group had improvements in their tympanograms after 3 months, compared with 38.3% of the control group (adjusted relative risk 1.37, 95% CI 1.03-1.83), according to Ian Williamson, MD, of the University of Southampton in England, and colleagues.

There was also a strong but nonsignificant trend toward improvement at 1 month (adjusted RR 1.36, 95% CI 0.99-1.88), Williamson and colleaguesreported online in CMAJ on July 27.

The balloon procedure is intended to reduce the middle-ear effusion. The child inserts the $15 balloon’s…

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