Posted by: Rachael | 2009-09-02


Hi doc,
My son is two, and in day care full time. I tried to breastfeed for the first 3 months, unsuccessfully, as even medication did not increase my milk production.
After being in excellent health for many months, he had flu a month ago, but never completely recovered. Last week I took him to his doc who diagnosed ear infections, prescribed antibiotics, and referred me to the ENT doc. I took my son to the doc who advised grommets to sort his ears out. He was a very good doctor, but I did not sense a tone of urgency. Maybe he was trying to be re-assuring. But after the visit I am wondering how necessary it is to have this procedure done. What other problems could this lead to if the grommets are not put in? What are the chances of his ears clearing up on its own now that summer is coming in? Should I cancel his swimming for a while wether or not the grommets are put in? His hearing and learning is fine, I don'  t see any hearing problems at the moment.
I am also thinking of taking him for a 2nd opinion.
Your advice would help millions.
Many thanks.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Racheal

Your son was most likely diagnosed with otitis media with effusion (OME) with affects your childs hearing but is often without symptoms. This is a commen recurrance after flu or an upper respiratory infection. Children are prone to this condition up to the age of 8 to 10 years old and the inablity to react on this could lead to developmental problems in future.

The placement of grommets will relieve the condition immediately and hearing will be back to normal within hours. If you are uncertain of his hearing ability I suggest you have him tested by an audiologist to check his hearing as these children often do not show any signs of hearing loss. If left untreated this will have a devestating effect on his future development.

In you son's case the course of conservative management was unsuccesfull so I would also be inclined to suggest grommets as your ENT already has.


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