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Glue Ear - An Introduction

Read the article based on an outline of twenty years of research into viability of the management of a group of children suffering from, and diagnosed with Otitis Media with Effusion often referred to as 'Glue Ear'... Read More

How To Use An Otoscope

Learn here the correct usage of an Otoscope and overcome the common problems when using this equipment... Read More

Treatments For Children

Many parents ask how can they treat their child for Glue Ear. Learn here how to treat a child for Glue Ear using Osteopathic methods in your own home... Read More

Your Questions Answered

What is Glue Ear? This and all your questions answered here referring to Glue Ear, it's symptoms and treatments available... Read More

OME Research Facts


This article is basically an outline of 20 years of research into the viability of the management of a group of children suffering from, and diagnosed with Otitis Media with Effusion often referred to as 'Glue Ear'.

The age of the children varied from 2 to 12 years and all having a previous history of Otitis Media. Their G.P. or Consultant when recommended to my clinic had diagnosed them all. Three hundred children have participated in this study. The original fifteen patients involved in the pilot study and their parents were the first to be taught the basics of the treatment. I had found that one osteopathic treatment a week was not enough, and therefore substituted quality of treatment for quantity, and at this point must add that most of the parents commitment to treating their own children, was indeed to a high standard.

The first fifty children received manual treatment only, giving a success rate of 75-80%. The following 250 children were treated manually, but with the inclusion of some dietary change, which increased our success, rate to 90-95%. (Pre 1999 results).

Our success rate was not only measured by myself using the Otoscope, but by the Audiology tests, and not still being referred for an operation.

What has certainly been of interest over the years is the way that we perceive the main aetiology of Otitis Media. The accepted norm is that of Viral or Bacterial, hence the use of antibiotics. As a Practitioner, I also take into consideration a mechanical/structural dysfunction, as well as a congestive dysfunction. The former of these can be broken down into traumatic births i.e. forceps, caesarean, prolonged labour etc, where the primary spinal curve is lesioned. The second cause is that of congestion, whether dietary or viral from mucus membrane irritation to the Goblet cells within the epithelium.

Over 40% of children and adults have a problem digesting cows milk, cheese and yoghurt, hence the over production of mucus. Bananas are also mucus forming.

I would just like to mention that we have found that the consistent use of antibiotics has a role to play in antagonising the Vagus nerve, (CN10), which in turn antagonises the Auricular fibres at the superior end of the Vagus Nerve. By palpating the Ileocecal valve one can bring about the symptom of pain to the right ear.

The mainstay of this manual treatment is that we deal with the Lympthatics, mucus membranes, and sinus areas. This is done using massage, articulation, (not manipulation) and reverberation techniques.

To summarise:-

  1. The manual treatment and management of Otitis Media can be very successful. The commitment of all the parents is paramount in this process.
  2. A) With the involvement of the parents it is very cost effective, not only for the parents, but for the health system’s with regard to the cost of drug therapy, speech therapy, and operations.

    B) It is conventially less traumatic for the following reasons: - No general Anaesthetic is required; the two primary defence systems, the Adenoids and Palatine tonsils do not have to be removed; and the tympanic membrane is not scarred by a Myringotomy, or grommets / (ventilation tubes.)

    C) The manual treatment negates the possibility of postoperative infection via the grommet insertions. (Ventilation Tubes)

    D) That future operations for the reinsertion of grommets, which will cause further scarring will not be required. (In some cases seven times.)
  3. Any number of treatments can be given at anytime, especially just before bedtime, when you are on holiday, or if there is a sudden attack of acute Otitis Media. The treatment regime lasts for approximately fifteen minutes and I recommend twice daily for two weeks, and then once a day for the following two weeks, and then only when required, i.e. common colds etc.
  4. There is an increased bonding between the child and parent, and the study has shown that both of them are more relaxed after a treatment is given.
  5. To my surprise the patients have actually corrected the parents if they are not carrying out the procedure, and treatment properly.

In 1999, I gave lectures, and practical demonstrations throughout the U.K. to all types of Manual Therapists, and parents, which created an infrastructure / network of qualified practitioners, which will enable us to standardise this type of treatment, and as a consequence, it can therefore be scrutinised by audit.

If, as a parent/patient, you would like to learn the treatment protocol we have produced a full colour DVD showing the complete ear and sinus treatment, plus a news item, so that you may be taught the skills of palpation via a qualified practitioner within one session.

A charge of $19.99 is made for the DVD and can be paid for via PAYPAL here. The name of a practitioner, the DVD and documents will then be sent to you. You can download the DVD instantly or request to have it mailed.
The patient and the person that is going to be doing the treatment should watch the DVD once or twice first, and then make an appointment to see one of our trained therapists.

You can contact me by e-mail on,

Dr. A Mathews. D.O.
Fellow of the Royal College of Medicine.
Member of the Health Professions Council

DVD Information

A DVD is now available from Dr Mathews' Surgery covering the Manual Treatment of Glue Ear.
Find out more information...

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