Although middle ear effusion was once described as the most common cause of vestibular disturbance in children, the association between glue ear and symptoms of dysequilibrium has never been quantified objectively.
In this study the effect of middle ear effusion on the vestibular system of the inner ear was studied in a select group of children suffering from long lasting effusion in the middle ear with no evidence of infection at least one year prior to the study. The results were compared with results obtained from otitis free children, as well as from examinations of children after the insertion of ventilating tubes.
The results of this study confirm the assumption that middle ear effusion has an adverse effect on the vestibular system, which can be resolved following the insertion of ventilation tubes.
This effect may also contribute to the adverse effect that otitis media has on a child's development.