Grommet Insertion


Grommet insertion is a surgical procedure that involves placing a small tube, a grommet, into the ear to allow air to pass and fluid to drain. The procedure is recommended to alleviate the symptoms of glue ear if the condition is persistent.


The procedure takes around 20 minutes to perform. Your surgeon will make a cut in your eardrum and remove any fluid there using suction, then place a grommet in the hole. The grommet usually stays in place for six to twelve months and then falls out. Once this happens your ears will depend on their own eustachian tubes for air to reach the middle ear.


What is Glue Ear?

Glue ear, also known as otitis media with effusion (OME) or secretory otitis media, is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes dulled hearing and earache. It can affect one or both ears.


Who does it Affect?

Glue Ear is more common in children than adults because the children’s eustachian tubes deep inside the ear are narrower than an adult’s and more prone to becoming clogged. Children tend to suffer between the ages of two and five and are more likely to get it during the winter.


How is Glue Ear Diagnosed?

Symptoms include feeling like the inside of the ear is blocked, pressure deep in your ear, mild ear pain and hearing ‘popping’ in the ear. Some children have repeated ear infections, coughs and colds before they get glue ear. Signs to look out for in young children include:

  • Not responding when you talk to them, especially from behind
  • Needing the television volume up high
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Preferring to play on their own, rather than in a group
  • Becoming tired
  • A change in behaviour


Glue Ear is easily diagnosed using a magnified scope with a light attached to it to look inside your ear. Your doctor will be able to see where there’s fluid and if there is any infection.


Treatment for Glue Ear

Glue ear will almost always resolve itself, however your doctor may recommend grommet insertion if the condition lasts longer than three months or generates infection.  Glue ear cannot be treated with antibiotics, decongestants or steroids.


An Adenoidectomy is sometimes done at the same time as inserting grommets. This procedure involves removing the adenoids to improve hearing and reduce the recurrence of glue ear.


You may wish to seek Hearing Loss Management advice if hearing is affected.


Need Help?

At One Healthcare we can book you in to see a specialist Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon, usually within 48 hours, for an initial consultation. Grommet insertion is available at One Ashford Hospital in Kent and One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire.


You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Grommet Insertion treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread the cost of your treatment over a number of months. If you are using your health insurance, please contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at either the One Ashford Hospital or One Hatfield Hospital.

Why One Healthcare

  • Modern purpose-built hospital opened in March 2016 (Ashford) December 2017 (Hatfield)
  • Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, X-ray and Ultrasound
  • Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
  • Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
  • Little or no waiting time
  • ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
  • Freshly prepared food
  • Calm, dignified experience

Contact us and find out more

If you live in and around the Kent area and would like to visit our One Ashford Hospital please click here

If you are based in and around Hertfordshire and would like to visit the One Hatfield Hospital please click here.

Contact the Hospital About Grommet Insertion

Choose a Hospital

One Ashford

01233 423 000

One Ashford, Kennington Road, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0YS

One Ashford Hospital
One Hatfield

01707 443 459

One Hatfield Hospital, Hatfield Ave, Hatfield, AL10 9UA

One Hatfield Hospital