All you need to know about the house dust mite
For the Curious

Glue Ear chronic otitis media and the house dust mite (HDM)

Chronic perennial allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) can be caused by an allergy to the house dust mites (HDM). Doctors have recognized that the risk exists and that children, suffering from allergy, can be vulnerable to symptoms of temporary deafness cause by this condition. Now, new research describes a pathway from HDM exposure towards OME.
The nose is connected to the ear by the Eustachian tube. The function of this tube is to help balance the air pressure on the inside of the eardrum. It also drains away any fluids produced by the ear itself. The tube can become dysfunctional when blocked by mucus from the nose, causing the air in the middle ear to be trapped. This air is replaced by a stick secretion, which adheres to the small bones that are essential for hearing. This effect may lead to degrees of deafness. The condition is referred to as 'glue ear'. In very young children noticeable scratching or pulling at their ears may be a symptom of glue ear. It is important to identify an allergy to house dust mites so that it can be dealt with in the appropriate manner.
References

'Allergy and Allergic Diseases', 1997, Vol. 2, Otiits Media, Chapter 104. P Fireman, Edited by A.B. Kay, 'Blackwell Science'.

Otitis Media and eustachian tube dysfunction: Connection to allergic rhinitis, P Fireman, J. Allergy and Clin. Immunol. Vol. 99, Issue 2, p s787-s797

'Histamine levels and nasal cytology in children with chronic otitis media and rhinitis', 'Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology', Meltzer E O: 1995, 74; 406-410

Rhinitis and Inhalant Allergens, Naclerio R., Solomon W, 1997, JAMA, 278; No. 22: 1842-1848

Brostoff J., Gamlin L, 'The Complete Guide to Food Allergy and Intolerance', Bloomsbury, 1992, ISBN 0-7475-1260-4

Synergistic Effects of Dermatophagoides farinae and Lipopolysaccharides in Human Middle ear Epithelial Cells, Ji Eun Lee, Yeon Hoo Kim, Chae Seo Rhee, Dong Young Kim, Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2016 Sep;8(5):445-456