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Delayed speech and glue ear.

(13 Posts)
easymover Tue 21-Jul-09 09:17:03

My Ds2 has just turned 4yrs.He is about 12mths behind with his speech and communication skills.He will be starting full school sept.
Six mths ago we found out he had glue ear, after i pushed for a hearing test.At the time it was decided to just review in six mths time because he didn't really have lots of ear infections.
We went for his check up yesterday,and was very surprised to find his hearing levels were alot worse.He hasn't had a ear infection but has said his ears hurt sometimes.
The consultant said we had two choices.Grommits or hearing aids.We we told grommits were used more for infections really to help drain the ear.So we decided on earing aids,which we wouldn't have to wait so long for.
But now i'm worried about if it was the right choice.My cousin had grommits fitting and they damaged his ear drum he is now 100% deaf in the one ear.I'm worried that i let that push me to having hearing aids.In fact i'm just worried about it all,but i feel we have to be quick so Ds doesn't fall further behind.
Any advice?

Reallytired Tue 21-Jul-09 09:48:58

My son has had glue ear and it has been treated both by grommets and hearing aids. For my son grommets were a disaster, the grommets came out after 8 weeks, the holes took ages to heal and he had 9 months of pus coming out of his ears. When my son had glue ear again I opted for the hearing aids. However complications like this are extremely rare.

My son had hearing aids for glue ear for 18 months. Children's hearing aids are fanastic. My son had Dr Who earmoulds and the hearing aids themselves were clear plastic. It really helped his reading and my son had no problems with bullying. Infact there were three little boys in his year who had hearing aids. The other children just accepted it.

Hearing aids are more work for the parents. It is quite a challenge to persaude a child to wear hearing aids. However unlike grommmets a child can take the hearing aids off and go swimming. I think that grommets are better at improving hearing than hearing aids. My son found crowds difficult with hearing aids.

Anyway if you don't get on with hearing aids you can always opt for grommets later. You don't really have anything lose.

easymover Tue 21-Jul-09 10:03:13

Really tired thank you for taking the time to reply.
You are right if the hearing aids don't work for what ever reason we can ask for grommits.I think it was a shock to find out how bad his hearing was.I now this will clear in time but he needs help now before he falls any further behind.Hopefully he will catch up with his speech.
Its hard to know if we are making the right choices.

Reallytired Tue 21-Jul-09 10:47:10

If its any consolation my son has done really well at his SATs at the age of seven. His results would sit well with any mumsnet boasting thread. However it was a completeley different story at the age of three and half. His speech was so delayed that he was having assessments for autism.

Our lovely community paediatrian ruled out autism and arranged hearing tests and speech theraphy. She also arranged for him to be fasttracked for grommets. When the grommets failed she helped us get him hearing aids.

Children with glue ear do catch up if they get the right help. The national deaf children's society has a good bullitin board.

easymover Tue 21-Jul-09 10:52:13

Thats really good it hear.There was also talk of autism with my Ds because of his lack of speech and communication skill.
I'll go and have a look at that site now.Thank you

Fennel Tue 21-Jul-09 10:52:28

Can they not go swimming with grommets then, Reallytired?

My 5yo has just been diagnosed with glue ear and moderate deafness, and they are suggesting grommetts, I was quite keen as she's clearly missing a lot of what's being said at school. Not sure how much it's affecting her reading/writing etc, school thinks it might be having quite an effect but I suppose til we treat the deafness we won't know. but it clearly is a problem for her so we have to do something.

Reallytired Tue 21-Jul-09 11:04:36

I think a lot depends on your ENT consultant and whether you are having any problems with the grommets.

You can go swimming with grommets, but you have to be absolutely fanatical about keeping water out of the ears.

These are good

Its also being in the bath and hair washing. Its not an option not to wash your child's hair for six months.

George71 Tue 21-Jul-09 11:37:18

There is an alternative to try before a grommet operation that your consultant should have discussed with you. It called an Otovent and is a baloon that Ds2 blows up through his nose (sounds wierd but it works). It is available on prescription and is is in the NICE guidelines so there is no reason that you shouldn't give it a go. They have a really good website at

ajandjjmum Tue 21-Jul-09 11:44:12

My ds had several sets of grommets over the years. He also had a 't' tube fitted in the one ear.

At 17, his hearing is fine (not perfect though!) - except for when he doesn't want to hear me!!

ajandjjmum Tue 21-Jul-09 11:45:25

Should have said, the 't' tube stays in place for longer, and doesn't keep falling out as the grommets tend to. It does however need to be taken out under anaesthetic, and leaves a slight scar on the ear drum.

Reallytired Tue 21-Jul-09 12:41:45

Otovent was absolutely useless for my son. My son at the age of 4 did not have the coordination to blow a balloon up with his nose. He nearly wet himself laughing trying though. grin

I can see how Otovent might work well for an adult with glue ear.

Fennel Tue 21-Jul-09 12:47:20

Apparently dd is a bit too bad for the less-than-grommet solution. And I am a bit keen to crack on with sorting it. Now it's been diagnosed I realise that she's had moderately severe hearing problems for at least the last couple of years (I just thought she was a dopey type, when she kept asking things over and over).

juicy12 Tue 21-Jul-09 14:19:15

My son had grommets put in last September at the age of 4 and 2 months. It was a fairly torturous (sp) road getting there as I was certain he had glue ear and once we were referred to audiology to confirm that, we then had to wait for 3 months of "watchful waiting" before going back to have it double-confirmed! Anyway, the difference was immediate once he'd had the grommets put in and the operation only lasted about half an hour. Really annoyingly, though, when we went back to the hospital for his check-up in March, the foolish esteemed consultant said he wouldn't have to wear ear plugs any more when swimming. Low and behold, 2 weeks after that, he got his first ever ear infection!! That's cleared up now and the grommets are still in place, thank goodness. For us, having the grommets put in changed our lives hugely for the better.

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