Otitis media with effusion, commonly known as glue ear, affects as many as 8 out of 10 children before the age of 10.
If a child has glue ear for a long time it can affect their speech and language development, they can fall behind at school and, without the right support, they may even suffer behavioural problems.
A research paper just published in PLoS Genetics has identified new factors involved in the formation of glue ear.
It suggests that some existing drugs, currently used for cancer treatment, may offer non-surgical, non-invasive alternatives to the current treatment option of grommet surgery. Around 30,000 grommet insertions are carried out each year in the UK.
Professor Steve Brown, Director of the Medical Research Council’s Mammalian Genetics Unit, who is an adviser to Deafness Research UK and the lead researcher in the study, said that a lack of oxygen reaching the middle ear was a key factor in the development of the condition.
Fuente:Soundbite November 2011