This guideline covers surgical treatment of children younger than 12 years who have fluid buildup behind their eardrum (otitis media, also known as ‘glue ear’). It aims to improve hearing and quality of life in children with otitis media.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- clinical presentation and diagnosis
- appropriate time for intervention
- children who will benefit from surgical intervention
- surgical interventions
- non-surgical interventions
- management in children with Down's syndrome or cleft palate
- information for children, parents and carers
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers
- Children younger than 12 years with otitis media and their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
We checked this guideline in February 2014. We identified no major studies that will affect the recommendations in the next 3–5 years.
Next review: 2019
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called surgical management of otitis media with effusion in children.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.