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What Are the Symptoms of Fluid in the Ears?


Updated July 07, 2014

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What Are the Symptoms of Fluid in the Ears?

Anatomy of the Ear

Photo © A.D.A.M.
Question: What Are the Symptoms of Fluid in the Ears?
Fluid in the ear (also called glue ear, serous otitis media, or serous otitis media with effusion), is caused by a blockage in the auditory (eustachian) tube, usually stemming from a cold, allergies, or an anatomical blockage, such as enlarged tonsils or turbinates. Fluid in the ear can be present with or without an ear infection.

Symptoms of fluid in the ear include:

Especially in small children, there may be no symptoms at all. If fluid in the ear is undiagnosed in developing children, it can lead to problems such as speech delays and delays in gross motor development. If fluid in the ear does not resolve on its own after a reasonable amount of time and is associated with hearing loss, it may be necessary to perform a myringotomy and surgically place synthetic ear tubes into the ear drum to provide drainage and ventilation.


Medline Plus. Otitis Media With Effusion. Accessed: January 18, 2011 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007010.htm

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