An Alternative to Ear Tubes, Steroids, or Antibiotics

An Alternative to Ear Tubes, Steroids, or Antibiotics

Ear tube surgery is the most common operation performed on children. The most common reason for the surgery is to treat prolonged fluid in the ear (otitis media with effusion, or OME). An article in the August 2001 issue of Laryngoscope evaluated an interesting alternative.

Half of the children in the study received nasal aerosols containing glutathione, a naturally occurring major antioxidant in humans. The other half received placebo nasal aerosols.

Those that got the glutathione were far more likely to be fluid-free at the end of the study (66% of those who used glutathione, 8% of those who used placebo).

Further research is needed, but this looks like a welcome, gentle, yet effective, new option for this very common problem.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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