Glue ear is not painful and can sometimes develop unnoticed. The symptoms of glue ear are:
- Temporary hearing loss. This is the most common symptom.
- A stuffy feeling in the ears. Glue ear does not cause pain the way middle ear infections (otitis media) can. Children most often will say they have a feeling of stuffiness or "fullness" in their ears.
Children with glue ear sometimes have repeated episodes of earache or middle ear infections.
In some children, the only sign of glue ear is a change in behavior. This may include:
- Becoming tired and frustrated
- Preferring to play alone
- Not responding when called
- Falling behind at school
Behavior changes can often be mistaken for stubbornness or rudeness. As a result, many children with glue ear are misunderstood or labeled as "difficult."