New Treatment Suggested For The Ear Glue Infection
21. October 2011
The ‘Glue ear’ is a condition where a blob of sticky yellow mass accumulates in the middle ear and the Eustachian tube, behind the eardrum. While it is not uncommon for an adult to get afflicted, it mostly occurs in children, between the age group of 1-5. The chief cause of this condition is the air pressure imbalance in the middle ear, that occurs due to a small malfunction of the Eustachian tube. This malfunction causes the air in the middle ear to pass on to the nearby cells, thus creating a vacuum that causes fluid from the nearby cells and to rush in to fill the gap.
Even though glue ear is too harmless to be diagnosed as an ear infection, there are some extreme cases where the patient’s earring is deeply affected, sometimes permanently. However, a new research by a team of scientist from the Medical research council’s Mammalian genetics unit have realized that medications that are strong enough to inhibit cancer, can also eliminate something relatively mundane as glue ear, without causing any lethal side effects.
This team of researchers, led by Dr Steve Brown, examined a root cause for this problem, which is famously known as hypoxia. Hypoxia is a condition where a particular body part, like a cell or a tissue for instance, fails to receive a substantial amount of oxygen. In this case, glue ear is mostly caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the middle ear. After running some test on lab rats by trial and error, they realized that using some ready made drugs, like those that stimulate the secretion of Vascular endothelial growth factors( VEGF) in the middle ear, they can make sure that the flow of oxygen to that vicinity can be controlled, even if the blood flow is irregular, thus ridding the ear of the ‘glue’ problem. This remedy is different from the rest because for one, they are known to cause little to no side effects on the body since they are already tested and FDA approved. Secondly, it is certainly better than the current treatment methods that involve fitting ventilation tubes inside the middle ear, as it is less expensive and very versatile.
It is a good sign that the medical world is started to take even the most mundane disease seriously, instead of merely dismissing them as harmless. Again, while the ear glue disease is not to be feared as much as other ear infections, they can cause a big impact on the academic and social life because a with a blocked ear, you cannot expect them to be very social and engaging. However, if the condition is not severe enough, making the child blow a special balloon with his nose, will automatically create a balance of air and oxygen in the Eustachian tube, which in turn cause it to drain out the glue, although it is still recommended that you go to physician.