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Is glue ear in one ear only anything to worry about???

(7 Posts)
sophiebbb Sun 20-Jul-08 22:45:23

My DS (19mths) has been seeing an ENT specialist since he was 9 mths old because of repeated ear infections and glue ear.

He had a hearing test finally 2 days ago and one ear is now back to normal but the other is not (ie glue ear has persisted) and he has very little hearing in it.

He is not speaking very much (he says about 8-10 words eg cat, car, tractor) and when we ask him to point at pictures in books he knows about 60 words.

Any experience from anyone else on this. Basically specialist has told us to wait another 6 months and do another test. Do you think that having hearing in one ear only is enough to learn to speak properly?

Elsapelle Sun 20-Jul-08 23:08:18

hi sophiebbb - sorry to hear your DS has problems with glue ear, it's always worrying when your child is poorly!
I'm a speech and language therapist (SLT) specialising in early years - if it helps, what you describe of your son's language sounds bang-on for his age. Children always understand many more words than they can say,, and usually they start saying words around a year to 18 months and there's often a 'spurt' around age 2. Often boys have fewer words at his age then girls, too. It's great everyone's aware of the problem as they will be monitoring it. Often i see kids in clinic who only get diagnosed at 3,4,5, which can be tough for them. The most important thing is that you spend time playing and chatting with him each day and give him plenty of eye contact when speaking to him and encourage any vocalisations he makes. You can also encourage lots of sound effects as well as words (beep beep, brmmmm, pop, animal noises etc) so he gets to hear and make different sounds.
You can also help by reducing any dummy use (if he has one) and encouraging moving from bottle to feeder cup as the type of sucking used for dummies and bottles doesn't encourage the clearing of the eustachian tube too well. Any more questions, feel free to ask! good luck!

ingles2 Sun 20-Jul-08 23:15:35

sophie this is exactly the situation we had with ds2 except he had about 6 words at 2. we had started to have the grommit discussion with his specialist when he had a sudden flurry of speech so we left it. For the next couple of years he would have hearing loss every winter but it gradually improved.
he's now 7, he has incredible speech and vocabulary, really advanced and his pronunciation and diction is great. Don't worry at the moment and yes I think one ear is more than enough smile

sophiebbb Sun 20-Jul-08 23:51:50

Elsapelle - thank you so much for this. I am on maternity leave with DD2 and hence am with DS1 a lot so am lucky enough to have the time to play and chat to him. We also read a lot together. Interesting to read about the dummy and bottle use. He uses a dummy to go to sleep at night and does still use a bottle to drink his milk (3 times a day) so interesting to hear your views on this. Will this make a big difference because if it will, then we will perservere in getting rid of them.

Ingles2 - thank you for your reassurance.

By the way, he is learning 2 languages as well (DH = Italian), so it is potentially more of a challenge for him.

Elsapelle Mon 21-Jul-08 07:34:46

well, don't worry too much about the dummy and bottle, as it doesn't sound like it's excessive use (good job on keeping dummy to night time only) but it might be a good idea to try and reduce anyway and see how he goes! But I know what it's like with toddlers - especially with another on the way you will probably want to choose your battles!

Excellent news about the 2 languages - yes, sometimes children seem a little later talking in these cases cos they're processing which language to use etc, but it will be a massive advantage for his language development in the long run!

sophiebbb Mon 21-Jul-08 14:14:25


Well he's off his bottle from this morning (bought an exciting new cup with straw in for him). So far so good. Think I'll leave the dummy til he's more used to the new baby - very strict that it is cot use only and he accepts this.

Elsapelle Mon 21-Jul-08 17:55:10

great - sounds fair enough to me! All the best, keep in touch. x

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