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treats glue ear

Otovent treats glue ear (Otitis Media with Effusion, OME) by equalising negative pressure in the middle ear. When Otovent is used, positive pressure is generated in the nasopharynx, which equalises pressure in the middle ear at the Eustachian tube. Both the passive inflation phase and the active deflation phase enable the Eustachian tube to open. About half of all cases of glue ear will normally resolve in one to three months. However, because symptoms can last a long time, there may be a desire to speed up the process. Otovent can be used if the patient does not have an ear infection or an upper respiratory tract infection. Studies show that Otovent can equalise negative pressure in the middle ear, thereby improving hearing and relieving other symptoms of glue ear.

Four randomised controlled trials, all in children, have shown that using the device causes significant improvements, compared with standard care, in middle ear function; 1 of the trials also reported a significant reduction in the need for ventilation tube (grommet) insertion surgery.

NICE Medtech Innovation Briefing, March 2016

Otovent® for prevention and relief

Otovent is the only proven clinically effective, non-surgical, drug-free treatment available for glue ear (OME). Regulating pressure in the middle ear is a known and important mechanism in the treatment of middle ear disorders in children and adults. Normally, pressure in the middle ear is equalised by swallowing or yawning. If the mechanisms to regulate negative pressure are not working properly, after a few weeks fluid will form, leading to hearing loss.

Frequently asked questions

Is using Otovent uncomfortable?

It can take a few times to get used to and feel comfortable using the product and with the technique. It is helpful if a parent is able to try Otovent first and then tell the child what it feels like. Used correctly, the user will hear sounds – clicking or crackling – inside their ear.

When should patients begin using Otovent?

As soon as possible after the diagnosis of glue ear is made. Early intervention produces the best results.

My patient can’t inflate the Otovent balloon. What do I do?

It can take a few goes to learn how to use Otovent correctly. Gently stretching the balloon before the first use can make it easier to inflate.

My patient is worried that Otovent might damage their ear. Are they right to be concerned?

Otovent should not be used if you have a cold, an ear infection or an upper respiratory tract infection. Otovent has undergone extensive testing and clinical trials to ensure that the product is safe.

Why is it important to treat blocked ears?

If the difference in pressure is not equalised by opening the Eustachian tube, fluid can build up behind the eardrum. This is glue ear.

Does Otovent have side effects?

Otovent is a safe method. In rare cases, there may be transient side effects such as earache, headache, dizziness or nosebleeds.

Can Otovent be used if you have a cold?

Otovent should not be used if your child has a cold, an ear infection or an upper respiratory tract infection.

Can Otovent be used on a plane?

Otovent can be used to equalise middle ear pressure before and after a flight. It can also be used during flight when differences in pressure are felt in the ears.

Studies behind Otovent®

Otovent has undergone extensive clinical trials and the clinical data on Otovent is listed below. Summaries of results of studies conducted by Abigo Medical AB.


Perera R et al

Autoinflation for hearing loss associated with otitismedia with effusion. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD006285. DOI: 10.1002/ 14651858.CD006285. pub2


Williamson et al

Effect of nasal balloon autoinflation in children with otitis media with effusion in primary care: an open randomized controlled trial n=320. CMAJ 2015. DOI:10.1503 / cmaj.141608


Stangerup et al

Stangerup, S.E., Sederberg-Olsen, J., Balle, V. Autoinflation as a treatment of Secretory Otitis Media. Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Vol 118, Feb 1992, 149-152.


Hanner et al

Non surgical treatment of otitis media with effusion. Indian Journal of Otology Vol.3, No.3 (Sept.97), 101-107


Blanshard et al

Conservative treatment of otitis media with effusion by autoinflation of the middle ear. Clin. Otolaryngol. 1993, 18, 188-192


Ercan et al

Long term effect of autoinflation in the treatment of otitis media with effusion.