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Glue Ear

(35 Posts)
mumchat Mon 24-Dec-12 07:17:34

Glue ear seems to run in my family. My first child had it causing mild hearing loss for up to six weeks at a time. She grew out of it by age 5.

My youngest has been up & down. Three bouts of mild loss & flat line readings. Then much better. At check Aug check they said only one ear had flat line & hearing in both was within normal spectrum.

Following a cold and one night of mild ear pain in early Nov her heat

ripsishere Mon 24-Dec-12 07:20:22

Presumably there's more?

mumchat Mon 24-Dec-12 07:25:07

Ooops sorry...
....her hearing went right down. Took to GP, confirmed looked blocked, no infection. Hearing stayed down so called hearing clinic & moved my six month app from Feb to last week. This time she has moderate hearing loss in both ears, flat line readings in both. Told me to come back in 2-3 months.

She is really struggling to hear. I have become like an interpreter for her, repeating things people say clearly & loudly. It's exhausting for us both and I feel for her so much. She is 4.5 & in Reception. School are aware & she is at front of class.

Any tips, advice or experiences. Her older sibling had it but never this bad & did grow out of it.

tribpot Mon 24-Dec-12 07:46:01

My experiences are back in the dark ages, when I was your dd's age. What I can say is that children are amazingly adaptable - I could lip read (I guess out of necessity) from very young. Literally the worst thing about glue ear for me was not being allowed to go swimming grin (I think my mum has rather different memories of it!)

You will get some good advice from mums of children with glue ear but for me I would try to avoid this becoming too stressful for either of you. Use visual clues / a primitive form of signing to help get your point across. Don't raise your voice if you can get down to her level and speak very clearly - and encourage others to do the same rather than interpret for them.

Have you spoken to your health visitor to see if there is any help available?

ripsishere Mon 24-Dec-12 07:49:27

My DD - who is very slight in build, had glue ear and eventually grommets. prior to that she tried some sort of treatment whose name I don't know but it involves blowing balloons up using your nose.
Sounds bizarre and looks hysterical but is common in mainland europe.
I've also heard good things about cranial osteopathy.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Tue 25-Dec-12 23:09:17

You should really have been offered hearing aids as your DC is at school. My DS, same age, just started school has had glue for years and until his head grows etc it is unlikely to shift so grommets would need to be repeated and we didn't like the idea of scarring. Our consultant is very pro hearing aids until children are older as it gives better outcomes longer term.
It is not good enough expecting her to cope, esp at school sad Feel for you, as I think there should be better care in these situations. PM me if you want to know any details x

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Wed 26-Dec-12 21:37:25
This is a useful read

Willdoitinaminute Thu 27-Dec-12 15:19:27

My DS had intermittent glue ear from 12 months old. We would have been unaware of this but as he was prem his hearing was tested at 12 mths routinely.
He was monitored for another couple of years and it seemed to improve but when he started school and we saw deterioration in his hearing. In yr 1 he had grommets fitted and his adenoids removed.
At his 3 month review his hearing tests were normal both sides even though one of the grommets had already come out. The other grommet came out recently 2 years on from the op.
I wasn't keen on grommets but the synthetic phonics taught in early years now depends heavily on good hearing. I would definitely agree to surgical intervention now having seen the difference. DS reading was average in reception but after his op his progress was amazing. I think his hearing was holding him back.

greencybermummy Thu 27-Dec-12 19:40:43

Otovent (Google it) was recommended by audiologist for my DD. It's like blowing a balloon up with one nostril! Apparently can help shift glue slightly quicker, it's exercise for the eustascian tubes! You can buy from Amazon but also it can be prescribed, friendly HV did it for us. Hearing Aids can be a great temporary help too and some Consultants are prescribing them much more readily now. You have my sympathy as it is hard work all round sad

mumchat Thu 27-Dec-12 20:02:54

Thank you for all the replies. I have read them including the links with interest. I do think if her hearing is still showing moderate loss at the re-test in 2-3 months (waiting for exact date to come in the post) we will need to seriously consider surgical intervention but in the meantime I want to try everything else.

So far she hasn't even been given an app with a consultant - just sees the two ladies who do the hearing tests. Should I push for this now or wait for next app or go privately to see one?

Has anyone been sucessful with getting a four year old to inflate the Otovent balloon? We used it with her sister years back but she was a couple of years older I think & yet i remember she found it almost impossible alrhough managed it a bit in the end. I do actually think it helped too.,I'm going to try it with my little one in the next couple of days once I can be 100% all signs of her last cold have gone.

Regarding the hearing aids. Do they come on the NHS? Are they a "stock" thing or unique to a specific child? Could she have them whilst we wait the next 2-3 months for follow up hearing test? It was exactly a month from significant drop in hearing to the test this month and if we wait a further three that will be four months with moderate loss in both ears. That is incredibly debilitating for her.

Thanks for all the words of support. I'd appreciate any further thoughts or experiences.

mrslaughan Thu 27-Dec-12 21:05:51

What about grommets?

sipper Thu 27-Dec-12 23:44:31

I have found cranial chiropractic treatment to be very successful for resolving glue ear without the need for grommets. Visit one experienced in paediatrics and ask them to also look at the jaw as misaligned jaw is associated with repeat glue ear. Sort the jaw and the cranial stuff and the glue ear cause can be removed. Worked very well for my DC's. (P.S. I'm not talking about cranial osteopathy, this is cranial chiropractic, which I have found more effective with my DC's). Is she a mouth-breather? What's her sleeping like?

Longdistance Fri 28-Dec-12 00:16:05

My dd1 has just been suspected of having glue ear. We've seen an audiologist, and the hearing machine came back as some blockage.
We have an appointment with a specialist in about 2 weeks time, which I'm quite looking forward to, so we can get some proper answers. Her speech has been effected, and she's a little naughty with it.
Dd is 3.3, and her speech has been terrible, and still is for her age. I know I shouldn't compare, but my dd who's 18 mo speaks, and is as clear as a bell. She says dd1's name clearer than dd1 can confused so there have been some signs for us, that it must be her hearing.
Dodgy hearing runs in my dh's family he has selective hearing too and mil is as deaf as a post.
Dd I certainly not saying some words right, so obviously not hearing certain sounds.
Would be rather interested in the chiropractic treatment.

incywincyspideragain Fri 28-Dec-12 10:42:21

As mum of 3 ds's all having had grommets (one twice) so far and a should who had 3-4 sets I believe there can be a genetic predisposition. In our case part of its geometry (shape of heads and more horizontal tubes) and partly diet.
We went for grommets as ds1 was almost 5 by the time we were allowed to see ENT, he was struggling at School and had no grasp of phonics, he finished reception unable to read sad
ENT consultant recommended dairy free diet based on his experience (no medical evidence) and it worked for us, ds2 had to have 2 sets if grommets in less than 12 months but his annedoids and tonsils reduced in size to no longer be a problem after being dairy free, he also stopped being so snotty and dribbley and snoring.
Cranial has been too expensive for us to consider but I've heard of others recommending it. The ovent balloon is available on prescription but ds2 and ds3 too little to use it and the impact of ds1's learning to significant to leave it to try but worth asking ENT.
Push for an ENT referral now based on age especially if struggling at School, that should get some weight behind it, speak to your HV. You need to consider hearing aids or grommets if its affecting learning IMO, ds1 is 6 and catching up but is struggling, his social skills are behind too also he is bright so very frustrated that he's struggling.
Only ds3 has speech difficulty, he starts school next year.
I'm on my phone so can't post links but have a look at NCDS parents discussion, they have some good advice on glue ear too and take it seriously, also google NICE guidelines on surgical management of glue ear so you know what to expect if you choose that option. Sorry no idea about hearing aids but the NCDS might have some info. I also had a link for teachers advice for glue....
Good luck, glue ear is not great and the words 'temporary' 'fluctuating' 'moderate hearing loss' don't help people understand the impact it has

mrslaughan Fri 28-Dec-12 14:20:09

Just to add - DS has had 3 sets of grommets - DD doesn't have the same problems with ear infections and glue ear.
I tried everything with DS - Diet, osteopathy, chiropractors, etc etc etc, the only thing that has made a significant difference is grommets.
He has has significant educational issues because of the severity of his glue ear - bollocks about the adaptability. Glue ear is actually more of an issues in some ways than hearing loss, because the hearing comes and goes, so they actually never develop proper coping mechanisms.

If her hearing is coming and going - get it properly checked and minitored by an audiologist and go from there.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Fri 28-Dec-12 22:12:30

Mumchat "Regarding the hearing aids. Do they come on the NHS? Are they a "stock" thing or unique to a specific child? Could she have them whilst we wait the next 2-3 months for follow up hearing test? It was exactly a month from significant drop in hearing to the test this month and if we wait a further three that will be four months with moderate loss in both ears. That is incredibly debilitating for her."

Yes, digital hearing aids are recommended by NICE and are programmed for your child's specific loss. They come in all sorts of colours and moulds, they are very smart looking, not like old nhs ones! Will add some links for you. If our DS is still suffering from Glue Ear by end of reception we will go for surgery, but the hearing aids are great, swimming and baths are all without worries of infections etc. If he was struggling with the aids I would go for surgery, but as it is he is fine and we may avoid surgery if he grows out of glue by the summer.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Fri 28-Dec-12 22:26:02
You can choose any of these free on NHS, also glitter, coloured, mixed....loads of choice

Our aids look like these:
again all on nhs

mumchat Sat 29-Dec-12 21:49:36

Thanks - does anyone know why the above info isn't showing as a link?

I would like to have the info and will copy & paste it tomorrow when have laptop not just my phone.

Tried Otovent for 1st time this eve. Watched the little " how to use" video on their website with our daughter so she could see the little child on there do it. We had bigged it up all day about how clever it would be to do it. First her Dad did it (like the Dad in the video).

She then tried 4 times really hard - no luck, balloon didnt inflate & she got disheartened. Quick thinking I suggested trying the other nostril & yipee she did it. Then went back to 1st side & she did that too. It must have felt odd as she didnt want to repeat it but I am determind we will do it 3 times a day for 3 weeks as per instructions. I will use the Xmas chocolates as rewards if needs be!! Wish me luck...

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Sun 30-Dec-12 21:51:03
You can choose any of these free on NHS, also glitter, coloured, mixed....loads of choice

Our aids look like these:
again all on nhs

sipper Sun 30-Dec-12 22:49:47

Been pondering glue ear today (long car journey!) and realised I'd forgotten to mention a few important things for combatting glue ear (and/or ear infections):

Remove sugar from the diet - I know it's an obvious one, so apologies for mentioning, but sometimes good to be reminded about the obvious stuff as a reminder. Sugar is an immune suppressant so best removed from diet when fighting any infection/illness, but extremely important in ear infection/glue ear as directly connected to flora in the mouth, eustachian tubes etc.

Take a good quality probiotic - Biocare is very good. Another good one for glue ear is Biokult. Take last thing in the evening and pour directly onto the tongue. For the Biokult one, open the capsule and pour onto the tongue in order for it to be delivered where needed.

Look at jaw function/position/bite. Is the patient a mouth breather? All important considerations in determining the actual cause of glue ear (and repeat ear infections). Talk to a knowledgeable orthodontist (not the kind who removes teeth (outdated idea!) but the kind who understands about the physiology of the jaw/face/airways and how it all impacts on health issues such as glue ear. (If you are in the south east a good dentist/paediatric orthodontic expert is Andre Hedger ) . Also see a cranial chiropractor (especially one who uses SOT - a particular type of technique - make sure experienced in paeds - a knowledgeable London and also Surrey cranial chiro is Julian Keel ) .

Ask loads of questions, find fab people who can help you find the root cause and hopefully you can get things sorted x

mumchat Mon 31-Dec-12 08:12:55

I have never heard of removing sugar! There goes my plan to encourage otovent use with chocolate coin! She has never had an ear infection - does your advice re sugar and probiotic supplements still apply or is that just in relation to infections?

mumchat Mon 31-Dec-12 08:18:01

P.s - apologies not sure I answered your earlier Qs.

Is she a mouth breather? No. (her older sister is more so but she has grown out of her glue ear).

What's her sleeping like? Asleep at seven, awake 5.30-6.00 only wakes in between to go to the loo.

incywincyspideragain Mon 31-Dec-12 15:31:31

I'd forgotten about that too slipper we cut squash and juice to reduce most of sugar in ds's diet and did the probiotic at night time on tongue for a while, which we don't do now but still have a regular one sprinkled on food - not sure if its made too much difference as like you mumchat hardly any ear infections, ds3 had horrible outer ear one (may and it came back for 3 weeks in Nov) but that was outer ear so not sure inside mouth stuff would have helped

sipper Wed 02-Jan-13 10:06:45

Hi mumchat

Yes give probiotic (Biokult capsule opened and poured on tongue last thing in evening) and avoid sugar (I know it's blooming hard as it is everywhere and not just in the obvious things but it's in sausages, ham, bacon, smoked salmon, pasta sauces - ugh!).

If you can't avoid sugar altogether at least ditch sweets and high sugar fruits such as grapes, red apples (have green), bananas (bananas are so good though on many other counts so don't ditch forever). Also don't have mucus-forming foods such as oranges (juice or fruit). To combat the glue ear you are trying to deal with the build up of that's caused it (the glue!).

The breathing and sleeping questions were about determining if there are physiological factors contributing, on the basis that the body is one interconnected system, not a series of isolated points. With a little unravelling a cause and then a solution could be found. If you can resolve the root cause then you can reduce the likelihood of further incidences. Cranial chiropractor and an orthodontist are both very good people to consult with as they will look at bite and jaw position to see what's going on with the eustachian tubes/jaw development and position. (Need to be up to speed with the latest thinking and not the old school orthodontists who like to remove teeth!).

Best wishes for sorting and Happy New Year.

mumchat Sun 06-Jan-13 04:16:27

Just to update. Hearing dropped last week of Nov (test in Dec showed moderate loss - having only been mild before).

Started Otovent on new years eve 3 times a day (after a few practise goes in the few days prior) and only a week in and we are definately noticing an improvement.

We are going to do three weeks so will post back for anyone interested.

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