Glue ear

Glue ear (Otitis media)

Glue ear is a condition caused when the middle ear becomes filled with fluid and is most common in children, with around 20% of children aged around two being affected. The problem occurs when there is a build-up of fluid that prevents the small bones behind the middle ear from moving freely. This affects hearing as it restricts their ability to pass sound vibrations to the inner ear.

The main symptom of glue ear is some hearing loss in one or both ears. If you think your child is having trouble hearing, you should take them to their GP in the first instance.

Fortunately, most cases of glue ear will resolve by themselves within a few months. However, if problems persist beyond this time it may be necessary to seek further treatment. In these circumstances, glue ear can usually be treated by placing small tubes (grommets) in the ear to help drain away the fluid.

The guide price for grommet insertion at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals is £1,750. This guide price includes every aspect of care - consultant surgeon, anaesthetist, hospital fee, and a follow-up consultation. There are no hidden extras. Find more information about our one-off private treatment service for patients who do not have private medical insurance.


Treatment for children

If your child is under 16, the first step is to ask their GP to write a referral and send it to the hospital. We will arrange a no-obligation consultation with a specialist for you, normally within one to two weeks. The guide price of the consultation will be around £150 to £200 and you would need to pay for any tests or scans performed in addition.

We can offer daycase surgery for children between three and 13 years of age once a month at our Spire Shawfair Park Hospital and surgery dates would be arranged to coincide with this. Please note that we have limited outpatient paediatric facilities for children and cannot offer all tests, scans and procedures.

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