Research Article

Glue ear: the new dyslexia?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.290.6486.1963 (Published 29 June 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1963
  1. N Black

    Abstract

    Several factors have led to the current epidemic of surgery for glue ear in children, including the widespread introduction of audiometry; greater recognition of the presence of fluid in the middle ear by general practitioners; the availability of more otolaryngologists; and technical advances such as the availability of antibiotics to treat postoperative infections and of flanged tympanostomy tubes (grommets). The need of surgeons to fill the vacuum caused by the decline in the number of adenotonsillectomies, and the fact that a diagnosis of glue ear legitimises the continued use of these operations, may also have contributed to the increase. Finally, glue ear may provide parents with a medical explanation of their children's poor educational performance, as the term dyslexia did in the past. The high social and public costs of this operation demand a reappraisal of its increasing use.