Autoinflation: An effective nondrug intervention for glue ear

Chris Del Mar*, Tammy Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate/opinionResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


[Extract] In a linked research paper, Williamson and colleague evaluated the effect of autoinflation, by nostril, of a purpose-designed rubber balloon in 320 children aged 4–11 years with glue ear. Glue ear (also known as secretory otitis media or otitis media with effusion) affects as many as 80% of children, with peaks in incidence at two and five years of age.2 The consequent deafness may interfere with language acquisition, behaviour and education, which worries parents of affected children. Effective treatment options are few.

One of the main findings of the linked study is that glue ear had resolved — by objective measurement using tympanometry — at three months in a greater proportion of children in the intervention group than in the control group. The number needed to treat was only nine. The objective outcome measure was important in this trial because participants could not be masked to allocation. The intention-to-treat analysis also showed improvements in the quality of life of children in the intervention group at three months. Possible adverse effects were common colds and earaches, with a slightly higher number of these among the children who used autoinflation. Child and parent acceptance of the intervention was good, with a compliance rate of 80% at three months.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-950
Number of pages2
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2015


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