Hearing management

Question
Posted by: Purple | 2012-05-11

Q.

Middle Ear Infections

Hi,

My son has been plagued by constant middle ear infections since he was about 11 months old. After numerous courses of antibiotics, which clear the infection but do nothing for the fluid build up, we were finally sent to see an ENT and at 20 months he had grommets put in. What a difference.
He next needed grommets at age 5 (after another few bouts of antibiotics and cortisone syryps).
Then at age 7 we went throughthe same again and he has grommets in again. We were also given a cortisone nasal spray to use daily.
He is no 8.
The one grommet has become blocked and he had an infection in that ear about a month ago. We were given antibiotics and cortisone. and drops to help clear the blockage. HIs hearing remained poor for a while and he complained of " water in his ear" , but yesterday a whole lot of gunk came out of his ear - but it was not smelly and not the brown colour when there is an infection, and he says that his ear feels much better now.

My son gets headaches a lot, his nose now bleeds from the cortisone spray.

I''ve taken him to an audiologist who says that his hearing is normal (this is however only when he has grommets in place), but that given the times he had reduced hearing from fluid filled ears, that cumulatively, he has had about a year to 18 months of reduced hearing.

His reading is excellent and his vocabulary is excellent. However he defnitely cannot always hear what we or his teacher are saying to him, and he sometimes talks very loudly (even yesterday after the fluid cleared).

He only washes hair in the shower and I limit his hair washing to once per week. We don''t have a pool, so he only swims in summer at other peoples houses or in the sea, and will sometimes agree to ear plugs, though the ENT said so long as he doesn''t do squad swimming, and he isn''t going underwater for long stretches that this is fine.

He does get colds fairly often and seems to have bouts of sinus and hayfever, but I keep him on a saline spray when he has a cold and I don''t use Coryx and Rinex etc (I am pretty certain that this was the original cause of our first ear infection - thanks to bad advice from a pharmacist). He was breastfed so shouldn''t have been at such risk of ear infections in the first place (and never slept with a bottle or any of the usual causes of ear infections in bottle fed babies).

I am starting to seriously worry that he is going to have constant ear infections all his life and that he is going to go deaf and that he is missing out at school. The teacher has him sitting close to her so that he has the best chance of hearing - and he is deifnitely not struggling, but does sometimes just not do things as he has failed to hear the instruction (its not disobedience, the teacher and I are both comfortable that when he does hear hte instruction he happily complies). Surely by now his eustachian tube should have taken on an adult shape?

I just don''t know what to do anymore.

He is a beautiful and intelligent and happy boy, and I just can''t bear the thought of him going through all these ear problems.

What can we do from here?

Expert's Reply

A.

Hearing Expert

Hi!

Upon due deliberation it is advised that that a multidisciplinary approach be considered. This would involve regular visits to the ENT and Audiologist. The ENT would advise and medically treat son, whereas the Audiologist would assess your son's hearing. Should concerns be realized by either professional, this should be immediately communicated for appropriate solution/s. It would also be a good idea to have a discussion with the teacher with regard to your son's current condition, you may choose to discuss this with and involve your Audiologist. Also, immediately contact your ENT with regard to the development of possible middle ear infections, so that this may be managed appropriately. A medical/surgical solution should be discussed with the ENT specialist with regard to stopping/preventing further recurrent middle ear infections {a long term solution}. Please keep in touch with regard to progress and outcomes.

Kind regards...

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
user comments

C.

Posted by: Tifany | 2012-07-17

have used Apple''s own earbuds that came with iPod, Sennheiser and Philips. I unraestdnd Sony''s in $40-60 range are very good and now I shall be trying them out.Sennheiser were good but soon conked out and started giving a screechy sound in choruses. Apple''s were quite useless and bad fit at that. I am using Philip now and they are at best satisfactory but lasting and with a good fit. Let us see what Sony has in store for me.I think Bose''s are pricey because of the name that carry and although very good they are not giving the full value for money.

Reply to Tifany
Posted by: Hearing Care | 2012-05-20

Hi!

Upon due deliberation it is advised that that a multidisciplinary approach be considered. This would involve regular visits to the ENT and Audiologist. The ENT would advise and medically treat son, whereas the Audiologist would assess your son's hearing. Should concerns be realized by either professional, this should be immediately communicated for appropriate solution/s. It would also be a good idea to have a discussion with the teacher with regard to your son's current condition, you may choose to discuss this with and involve your Audiologist. Also, immediately contact your ENT with regard to the development of possible middle ear infections, so that this may be managed appropriately. A medical/surgical solution should be discussed with the ENT specialist with regard to stopping/preventing further recurrent middle ear infections {a long term solution}. Please keep in touch with regard to progress and outcomes.

Kind regards...

Reply to Hearing Care
Posted by: Purple | 2012-05-15

Sorry, didn''t mention that when he ws 5 and had that set of grommets put in, he also had his adenoids removed. It made no difference.

He still has his tonsils. He has never had tonsillitis.

Reply to Purple

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