ENT patient information

Patient information leaflets


Glue ear and grommets

Glue ear is a common childhood condition which sometime occurs in adulthood. In this condition the middle ear becomes filled with a glue-like fluid preventing the middle ear bones from conducting sound properly.


The normal treatment for glue ear is to allow the fluid to drain out naturally.  If the condition persists one possible treatment is the insertion of grommets.  Grommets are a small tube which is inserted into the ear drum to allow air into the middle ear and prevent fluid build-up.  Grommets are inserted under general anaesthetic but you would not normally need to stay in hospital overnight.


Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are believed to be caused by chronic inflammation, which leads to oedema within the lining of the nostril.  Gravity then causes the swelling to hang down forming the polyp.  Depending on the location, size and number of polyps it can block the nasal passage and cause a variety of symptoms.  Treatment for nasal polyps is normally steroid drops, possibly in combination with steroid tablets.  For larger polyps or polyps which cannot be controlled by steroids, surgery may be required.


Tonsillitis and Quinsy

Your tonsils are located at the back of the throat, one on each side, which help fight infection by filtering out bacteria and viruses before they enter your wind pipe.  A similar set of glands called adenoids are located behind the nose.  Sometimes, these glands become infected which causes them to swell and become painful.  It is normal for people to have infrequent bouts of tonsillitis, but if bouts are frequent it can have an impact on hearing, breathing and overall health.  In these cases a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) may be considered, this may involve removal of the adenoids as well in which case it is called an adeno-tonsillectomy.

Quinsy is a complication of tonsillitis where an abscess forms between a tonsil and the throat wall.  In these cases you will be given antibiotics and may need an operation to prevent the infection from spreading.


Last updated: October 17, 2017