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Help understanding hearing test results please :((23 Posts)
DD (3.3, severe speech delay, possible ASD) finally had her long awaited hearing test today. She has a horrid cold (very sleepy and grumpy with it) and we discovered during the course of the test that she has a mild ear infection (this is about her tenth in the last year) so is running a temp and not a happy girl. She pretty much refused to engage with the technicians, so they did a test where they played sounds together with lighting up a box with toys in, and if she looked when they played the sound (while she was playing with toys in another part of the room) they showed the dancing toys. She was happy to do that bit and had a slightly poor result for higher frequencies on it (mild to moderate according to the notes). Then they repeated her newborn screening test, the OAE (otoacoustic emissions) test and she did really well on that, they said it was a good result. The technician said that she had some congestion in her ears, so glue ear, and that they wanted to see her again in four weeks. I had grommets as a child, as did my brothers, and I have a minor hearing loss (but nothing disabling).
Now does that mean that the first part of the test was innacurate, because she wasn't playing along and she could hear the noises, OR that she basically has good hearing, but at the moment it's bad because of glue ear/colds? So far as I understand, the OAE measures cochlear function, so it's great that she had a good result, but does it measure how well she can hear full stop?
3 year olds are notoriously tricky. They probably satisfied themselves that she did the majority of the test. The initial bits are either written off if the child isn't playing ball but then does OR it could mean that she didn't register those particular frequencies. I would think that she just wasn't playing ball as it was a new situation to her. Are they getting you back for a repeat test? The glue would have been registered by the tymp test where they checked the air in the ear canal. My DS always registers as occluded as he has got a particular type of glue that won't drain.
When they were doing the pressure test, the tech said to the other tech/doctor that one side was completely flat (but as they weren't talking to me, I don't know what that means). We go back in four weeks for another test, and I would hope she'll have cleared up by then as she is so full of cold it's untrue. She really wasn't happy to be there, wouldn't even say goodbye to the techs when we left, but she did enjoy the light up boxes with the dancing toys, so I think she was playing ball for that bit.
I have to say I didn't much appreciate their tone when I said that there was no way she would understand 'when you hear a noise, you need to put the dolly in the block'. That's what I meant at the beginning when I said that she has very little receptive language. Understanding 'put on your shoes' is a bit different to 'do this random thing when you experience this random sensation that you don't really understand'.
What they should do is distract her with stacking bricks, spinning tops etc. the put the man in the boat, or the block in the box is aimed at children who can follow instruction.
The flat line would be the glue. NDCS do a useful leaflet. This should explain stuff better than I can! here
That leaflet was brilliant. Im much clearer now.
The notes on her report say DD demonstrated mild-moderate hearing high frequency sloping hearing loss overall. Middle ear pressure test revealed otitis media with effusion on the right and eustachian tube dysfunction on the left. Oto-acoustic emission present at high frequency on the left and right.
I guess that means that right now her ears are gunked, but that could change when she doesn't have a cold any more and that her basic hearing is fine?
In some (most?) cases glue ear resolves on its own.but not everytime.
You said that your DD has about the 10th ear infection this year. Does not sound to me as if her glue ear will just sort itself. Have you been referred to ENT? Anybody mentioned grommets? Dd had chronic ear infections. Was unwell non stop. Fever non stop, probably in a lot iof pain & her hearing down. In the end grommets sortex her ears. We had 2 sets so far.
Tbh,if she had ear infections for such a long time (+hearing loss), i would push for an Ent referral.
I think the idea is that we have a few more appointments to see if it resolves, then grommets if it doesn't. Will carry on pestering though.
Dd had ear infections for over a year just like your Dd.. we were also given the wait and see treatment (which i think is the NHS approach for doing nothing really).
In the end we saw a consultant privatly who referred us back to nhs for urgent grommets as things were that bad. I am still beating myself up for letting DD down and not taking her earlierto be seen privatly.
DS had an ENT appointment yesterday and was referred straight away for grommets after his one and only hearing test. I feel guilty too about well, everything.
Seriously though, if hearing is bad and there is a long waiting list for grommets then ask for a hearing aid.
I have two deaf dc.
They do like to wait and see if glue ear resolves itself. In lots of children it does, so avoids the need for surgery. My ds has glue ear and delayed speech (catching up now). He's had grommets (fell out after 4 months) and has just had a hearing aid fitted.
My friend's ds had terrible results at his first test but passed the 2nd one 3 months later with flying colours.
Did you see the graph of the hearing test results? What db levels can he hear at?
DD wasn't very cooperative at all and I think they were a bit exasperated with her (she was poorly and I did warn them) and I suspect that they think she might just have been not responding to the noises because she wasn't cooperating. I think she was though.
I asked for DD to be referred for a hearing test and speech therapy in March, as at that point she was saying absolutely nothing, other than the odd 'mummy' and naming things now and then in books. She was 2.8 at that point. We got speech therapy in July, and no hearing test. I took her to the GP and asked him to check her ears and refer her for a hearing test in August. He looked at her ears and said they looked fine and she didn't need a hearing test. In the end, I found a friendly speech therapist and asked her to refer us direct to paediatric audiology. So if she has had a persistent hearing loss, we've lost eight months messing about. The Ed Psych said to me that even if she did have a hearing loss I had to understand that 'it wouldn't be the whole story'. So I should just ignore it then? Even if she is somewhere on the spectrum, why the hell wouldn't I want to treat a hearing loss? Makes me so angry.
It took me two weeks of calling every day, five times a day, to get an appointment. I was on the verge of just going private. Wish I had in March now.
I'm so sorry you've had to wait so long OP. It's not good enough is it? I'm not surprised you are angry, I would be too.
I'm a bit baffled by the comment from your Ed Psych. In my own limited experience, hearing loss can produce behaviour that might hint at other issues so it would make sense to sort that out first and then you can see much more clearly what else there is to deal with.
Hope you can get this sorted soon. I always ask for copies of all test results and inform all involved parties (hearing support, speech therapist, school) of any updates myself. NHs communications take for bloody ever.
And it is not just the hearing loss that goes hand in hand with glue ear and frequent ear infections. It is also very painful and causes temperature and being ill.
I had recently an ear infection and OMG did that hurt. I just cannot understand how they can leave children like this for months and months....
OP, I think you need an paediatric ENTconsultant for her ears, not an EP or GP etc. Hope you get it sorted soon.
Mumtomog this is so identical to my daughters experience.Shes always ill and when I take her to the GP he keeps on suggesting antibiotics and I keep on saying we need it tested again and he says that he is going with the recommendations on the result which clearly said they could not have an accurate result but they think shes okay .even though she had a cold etc and at this moment she still does.Thanks for strting this thread.
Chocjunkie where are you based who was the private consultant you used if you dont mind me asking
I am now wondering if it might be worth going to a private specialist. I have had some success doing this before (my dad had a hip replacement which was causing him a lot of pain - NHS said it was fine, paid a specialist to check him out and it had to be removed urgently because not only was it not fine, there was a massive abcess in his hip because of how it was misaligned, which had caused osteomyelitis. No apology of course, but Dad was so much better without it). DD still poorly today, had to pick her up from nursery as she was just sitting in a corner crying.
Shayo, will PM you later. But we just googled for private peadiatric ent consultant... most work on the NHS and do see patients private on top it seems
Another emergency appointment, another double ear infection. The only clue this time was that we knew she had a mild infection from the audiology team and because she started smacking her face and banging her head on the wall (she has never been a head banger). No real temperature, no discharge (her ears once streamed yellow fluid!), no high pitched wailing like we sometimes get. Making me worry about how often she actually has ear infections as in how often are we thinking she is being bad tempered or grumpy and she's actually in pain and can't hear properly
she's also got a red swollen throat (the bit right at the back of her mouth), is this something related or just a normal, sick child thing do you think?
I had that myself a few months ago. Excruciating. I went to the GP and the Emergency GP. Sent home with "just take some paracetamol for the pain". I ended up pinching DD's prophylaxis antibiotics for her chest. They also treat ENT problems. Worked a treat.
I know that your ENT is going to do grommets, but can you ask for a head CT to see what the hearing system looks like. Just incase there is damage or fluid build up.
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