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Grommets - Your stories please

(15 Posts)
BlueberryPancake Mon 24-Aug-09 07:22:35

DS has had glue ear since he was at least 22 months (when we first saw an audiologist) who said that he could hear well even if he had glue ear. We saw another specialist (Ear Nose and Throat) later on who said that DS still had glue ear, but very little and it was very unlikely to be affecting his hearing.

The thing is, (I have posted here before about this) he is not speaking at 2 years 4 months. He only says a few words (5 words in total) and not very clearly.

We are seeing the ENT specialist again today. If DS still has glue ear, I want to know how I can push for him to have grommets fitted.

If your DS/DD/anyone you know have had grommets, do you know who (which specialist) referred them? It might look obvious but I need 'ammunitions' to 'convince' the specialist to go ahead with it. Last time, he was very clear with us that DS's glue ear was not the cause for his lack of speech (although I am still sceptical about this). Any tips, thoughts, etc welcome!


leisurely Mon 24-Aug-09 08:01:25

Feeling for you. DD has too many words! I do appreciate that this is not a laughing matter. My girl was misdiagnosed in February, I told Doctor that she couldn't hear and his response was to use a tuning fork on her forehead and behind her ears, say that she was congested and give her some decongestant (which she was allergic to). Same story three weeks later, tuning fork etc. In the end I went to a different doctor who has tried a combination of saline inhalation and nose balloons. He said she 'probably' had an ear infection way back and this has contributed to it. Currently she is being seen by an audiologist and has until mid October to improve with the ongoing saline, nose balloons and inhalable steroids. If her hearing isn't any better, he recommends grommets. I am desperate to avoid this and am constantly on at her to practice with the blessed balloons. Can't offer you any advice as not in the UK, but good luck.

belgo Mon 24-Aug-09 08:07:58

Blueberry - well done for being concerned about your ds. With my dd1, we didn't realise she couldn't hear properly until she was nearly four - by which time her speech was significantly behind (not helped by being brought up bilingual), and finally we asked for an ENT referral. She was diagnosed with glue ear and her hearing was poor. She had the gromits fitted and the operation was fine, although she did wake up in a panic screaming, and it took a while for me to calm her down.

Her speech started to improve and she is now speaking both languages well - she's five and a half now. One of the gromits fell out about six months ago and her hearing in that ear has noticeably declined and she has an appointment for another gromit next month.

She has only ever had two ear infections in her life.

belgo Mon 24-Aug-09 08:12:11

oh and we also tried some sort of nose drops before the operation, which didn't help.

I'm relieved that she had the operation, and she was back at school the day after.

BlueberryPancake Mon 24-Aug-09 08:59:12

Belgo, how did they detect that her hearing was affected? Did she have an hearing test with audiologist, or was it only with the ENT? Because the ENT specialist was very clear last time that DS's lack of speech wasn't due to glue ear, and I wonder how they can tell. He had a little hearing test with a machine, which lasted only a few seconds in each ear. Whereas with the audiologist, DS was so upset to be tested that they couldn't conclusively tell if his hearing was affected. We also speak two languages at home so I'm sure that doesn't help!

Twinsmommy Mon 24-Aug-09 09:30:39

Blueberry: One of my twins was diagnosed with glue ear in both ears, purely by chance after seeing the doctor regarding his snoring. He had ENT surgery two days after his second birthday. His language skills beforehand were very poor. He had tonsils and adenoids removed and grommets were fitted all at the same time. He had no problems and has just gone from strength to strength. We saw a consultant privately in the end. GP was pretty rubbish and missed his glue ear telling me there was nothing wrong and that he was just congested. Hope things go well for you today.

belgo Mon 24-Aug-09 13:35:34

BLueberry - it was my sister in law who first noticed that my dd1 couldn't hear properly. She was nearly four at the time, and it was very hard for her to do the first test, because she didn't have the language skills to follow the instructions. They did another test, this time with two people, and she had to put a loop down every time she heard the noise. It was clear that she couldn't hear all of the noises.

It is harder for a two year old.

geogteach Mon 24-Aug-09 13:49:50

You will need ENT to refer for grommets. DS1 has a permanent hearing loss and glue ear and has had grommets a number of times. At 2.5 he had very clear speech which was why nobody picked up his hearing loss. The test where they put something in the ears can tell if there is glue, the screen shows either a hill or a flat line (can't remember which is which blush)one means there is glue the other there isn't. When DS has this at the audiologist if there is glue we get sent back to ENT.
If they think glue is not the cause of his lack of speech has he seen a speech therapist?

BlueberryPancake Mon 24-Aug-09 16:44:29

Yes geoteach he has been assessed twice for speech development, but they think that all is developing normally (non-verbal skills, social skills) etc and that his speech will come on when the hearing is better. If not, DS will have therapy starting at 2 and half, depending on availabilities.

Anyway, I have now seen ENT and DS' glue ear has resolved, although there is still some liquid behind one of his ear drum there is also some air, and the drums are vibrating 'within the normal range'. He might still have some hearing loss, but they can't tell for sure. He will have another appointment at the audiologist in 2 months time, and no grommets as it will make very little difference.

So it's a bit inconclusive for now, but we are going again to speech therapist tomorrow, and it's in a different clinic/threapist than last time so we might have some more development/suggestions.

So no grommets for now, but thanks anyway for all your help. Obviously, his glue ear might come back, so he will be tested every three months on an ongoing basis.

asteroids Wed 26-Aug-09 12:24:33

I have a very long story about grommets.
My son ruptured an eardrum when he was 11 months old. After that, he had recurring ear infections, about one every 4 or 5 months. When he was 2 and a half, after yet another ear infection, I asked the GP to refer my son to an ENT specialist. The GP did and we got our appointment a few months later.
At the hospital, the consultant looked at my son's ears and then asked me when he had last eaten. I answered and the consultant said she would operate that day! Grommets were inserted and we went home that evening.
My son had three more operations to reinsert grommets: each set fell out after a few months. He had his adenoids removed, he had ear infections every few months, he was hearing impaired with poor speech and terrible behaviour. His education suffered.
When he was 11, I asked the ENT consultant why my son had not 'grown out of his ear problems' as this is what I had always been told. He was then given a hearing aid for one ear. Over the next two years, he had major surgery to remove mastoid bone and repair his inner ear bones and ear drums. He is now 21. He still has a mild hearing impairment but he left school with good GCSEs. His speech is almost normal (a few odd pronunciations), he plays guitar and piano, composes his own music and works part time.
My message to anyone who has a child with hearing difficulties, glue ear, grommets etc is to be very persistent with your GP, hospital and school. Glue ear is a serious condition which can lead to major hearing complications. If I had not persisted, my son would be deaf by now (the ENT consultant told me this himself).

Geocentric Wed 26-Aug-09 12:38:21

I have a 6yo with chronic glue ear issues; he had his adenoids done and grommets inserted when he was 3 - grommets fell out after a year and even during that year he still had the build-up (nasty seeping for a year - yuck!!). His glue ear is related to chronic rhinitis, so grommets had no long-term effect whatsoever.

We've treated him in the past with cortisone-based allergy meds, but he turned out to be sensitive to those (psychotic reations) so now we are giving homeopathy a go. It hasn't affected his learning abilities, but certainly affects his behaviour (have lost count of the number of people who have asked me if he has ADHD).

Asteroids story triggers some of my deepest fears about long term effects...

asteroids Wed 26-Aug-09 13:11:30

My son has ADHD. I think it was due to the amount of antibiotics he had to take when he was little. We controlled the ADHD with diet and he is now able to control it himself. He has also been diagnosed with dyslexia...probably as a result of being deaf when he should have been developing early language skills. He is also probably borderline ASD as I have Aspeger Syndrome and he has very similar traits but not as severe. I'm amazed he's managed so well really. I took him out of school when he was 9 and taught him at home for a year, to catch up on stuff he'd missed. He then went back into school (his choice).

Geocentric Wed 26-Aug-09 14:57:08

Well done, it sounds as if its been a loooong battle. sad

I really hope we manage to sort out DS sooner, rather than later. Might need to look more carefully into diet, I guess.

Asteroids, do you have any good links about using diet to help with behaviour?

<sorry about the thread hijack>

asteroids Wed 26-Aug-09 15:19:25

I used the Feingold diet
We started it when ds was 5 years old. We started in the school holidays and the effect was instant and incredible. He was quite drowsy for a few days but I explained that it was to help him with his behaviour. Even he noticed the difference and said he felt more in control. We gradually reintroduced foods and found that the worst offenders were Weetabix, strawberries (yes, even fresh ones), tomato ketchup, any flavoured crisps, cola drinks and dried fruit. One Christmas we found that home made mince pies made him more hyper than a Mars Bar!
When he was about 10, ds was able to explain that some foods caused a 'fizzing' in his body. Now, he is able to use forbidden foods to give him energy for football, cycling etc.

I would urge anyone to seriously try diet before resorting to medication. You do have to be very motivated and get the whole family on board. My daughter (just 2 years older) was very understanding and accepted that we just didn't have some foods in the house. My parents were less understanding though and thought the diet was a load of rubbish.

Geocentric Wed 26-Aug-09 15:34:32

Thanks!! Will check out the site...

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