A recent study shows that kids all over the world who are suffering from effusion otitis media, also known as simply otitis, or glue ear can easily treat it. To do this they have to simply blow a balloon and heal the ear. Silly as it may sound, that is exactly what this new method proposes.
Otitis media is a group of diseases that affect the middle ear. It is an inflammatory affection which entails the filling of the middle part of the ear with fluid. The two types of otitis are AOM and OME, or acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion. In the first case the fluid that fills the ear is infectious in nature. Kids that get this type of otitis usually feel severe pain which results in abnormal crying, trouble eating and sleeping, as well as the children pulling their ears excessively. In severe cases it also shows fever.
OME on the other hand isn’t that present in symptoms, but exhibits hearing loss and can become chronic. In this stage fluid is usually discharged from the ear.
Both cases have been, up until now, treated with antihistamines, decongestants, intranasal steroids, as well as antibiotics. Yet, as many doctors would tell, these drugs do not work that well and often have unexpected side effects. In the most severe cases, doctors choose to operate and intentionally bore a hole in the eardrum to let the fluid out.
Suffice to say, this can be extremely painful for the child and can result in hearing loss if not done properly.
The recent study, which has been done in England by Dr. Ian Williamson of the Southampton University, has uncovered that blowing balloons through both nostrils alternatively while covering the other can trigger the automatic elimination of the fluid that had been previously obstructed. This happens in children because the Eustachian tube connecting the ear and the nose becomes clogged when the little ones get sick with sinus infections or other affections, such as allergies, that have to do with the nose.
The study was conducted on 320 kids, aged between 4 and 11 years. The test implied the separation of two groups. The control group did not use the balloon technique, while the others did. After one month, 36% of those who had used balloons were shown to have normal ear pressure.
This test confirms what other doctors have been practicing (although without real basis) for a long time. Prior to this, it has been common knowledge that blowing a balloon with your nose can cure you. Now it is a real medical treatment.
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