Common Disease in Children “Fluid Buildup in the Middle Ear”
Date Added: 05 August 2020, 12:10
Last Updated Date:03 November 2020, 13:13
Attending Physician Remzi Tınazlı, surgeon at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the Near East University Hospital delivered information about the fluid buildup in the middle ear in children at preschool age, its causes, importance of early diagnosis in treatment, and treatment methods.

Attention to the Middle Ear Fluid Buildup in Your Child!
Fluid buildup in the middle ear leads trouble in hearing or responding to sounds. If your child turns up the volume of the TV too much, watching it closely, or you repeat it several times when you call him/her, and if his/her achievements in his/her lessons are in a decreasing trend, he/she may experience painless otitis media (ear infection). This infection often results from another illness such as cold, flu or allergy that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat and eustachian tubes. If your child frequently suffers from upper respiratory tract infection, has nasal congestion, sleeps with mouth open or snores while sleeping, the possibility of fluid buildup in the middle ear is high.

Fluid Buildup in the middle ear is a common disease in children at preschool age
Children at the age of preschool are more susceptible to ear infections because of the size and shape of their eustachian tubes.

Why is this disease more common in this age group?
In children, the eustachian tubes are narrower and more horizontal than adults, which make them more difficult to drain the fluid and more likely to get clogged. Besides, swelling of the adenoids may block the tubes as adenoids are near the opening of the narrower eustachian tubes. Children of this age are prone to develop upper respiratory tracts infection that can lead to fluid buildup in the middle ear. In the early stages of the disease, a mild hearing loss and trouble in responding the sounds begin in the child. There are signs such as nasal congestion, open mouth sleeping, turning up the volume of the TV or watching TV closely, not being able to hear what the teacher says in classes, and a constant runny nose. Parents may not always notice these signs. The child's trouble in hearing and responding the sounds is generally noticed by the teachers at school.

It is a condition that can be corrected via treatment in early stage
Fluid buildup in the middle ear is a condition that can be corrected by cause-oriented treatment if it can be diagnosed early. The problem can often be eliminated with 2-3 week drug treatments. However, in cases of adenoid size that causes the occlusion of the eustachian tubes, and in cases where drug treatment does not affect the problem, surgical treatment is necessary and the result is extremely satisfying. Permanent hearing disorders may occur due to frequent middle ear infections in delayed conditions that are not treated and due to negative pressure in the eardrum and collapse in the membrane.

Always consult an expert if you suspect that your child has trouble in hearing and responding to sounds
In cases of fluid buildup in the middle ear, there are no complaints such as ear pain, fever and ear discharge. Sometimes the complaints such as the child's success in lessons, restlessness, deterioration of his / her friends and impaired balance may appear as the main complaints. All of this depends on the hearing loss that occurs due to the difference between the pressure in the middle ear and the pressure in the external environment. For this reason, parents should definitely take the children they suspect of hearing loss to an otolaryngologist.

Treatment method
The Otorhinolaryngologist will investigate what causes the disease and will treat the cause. Since such children have a very frequent occurrence of nasal discharge and enlarged flesh on the allergic ground, they should also be examined about the allergies. Ventilation tube surgeries placed in the eardrum due to the buildup of fluid in the middle ear is a frequent operation that improves hearing. The inserted tube often spontaneously is taken out after a period of 6 months, and no second intervention is required. In order not to cause permanent hearing impairment in the future, to leave our children behind their peers, to prevent them from failing at school, hearing should be vigilant and seek medical advice before it is late.