Dealing with glue ear and grommets in children

March 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 5 Comments
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Since last summer we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of a worsening issue with our four year old’s hearing.

It started with selective hearing which we put down to him being a typical three year old boy.  He started school in September with no issues – an August baby, so young for his year.

He also started swimming lessons around the same time.

Two ear infections close together in October of last year seemed to make his hearing much worse and we requested a referral for a hearing test.  Much chasing and re-requesting of an appointment later and we got him tested.  Glue ear was diagnosed and we were referred back to our GP.

They then referred us to our local hospital.  On trying to get him assessed at the hospital we found out there was a three month wait to be seen.  So we went to the next nearest hospital, the Royal Berks which unfortunately for a 9am appointment took an hour and a half to get to.  The waiting time was less though, around 7 weeks so we opted for that.

Leading up to the appointment our son had a two week course of ear drops to clear a huge amount of solid wax.  This alone improved his hearing.

The consultant re-confirmed glue ear, removed more wax and advised that grommets would be the best course of action.  That was last week and we now have another three month wait.  We were due to go on holiday two days after the operation but he won’t be able to swim for three weeks so we’ve decided not to go.

The glue ear has had a profound affect on his behaviour. He’s learnt to adapt to it but also use it to his advantage. He gets frustrated quickly and has become disruptive at school – not paying attention or taking part as he should.  At after school activities he guesses what he’s supposed to be doing when he can’t hear. At bedtime he refuses to get undressed, get in the bath, get out of the bath – the list goes on.  The morning routine before school can be disastrous   This hasn’t been helped by the arrival of a new baby which our four year old has found ‘annoying’ on occasions.  As a rule he hasn’t been too upset by it but at times he finds it hard having to share our attention after four years of having us to himself.

I’d be interested in your experiences with glue ear and grommets.  We also tried a product called Otovent – it’s a small plastic tube with a balloon on the end which the child has to try to inflate with their nose – sounds odd but apparently gets great results.  Our four year old found it frustrating because he couldn’t blow the balloon up but we are persevering.

Any inside information about the operation or dealing with glue ear most welcome.

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5 Comments »

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  1. Our 7 year old boy had grommets put in whilst at pre school. I will try to find the link to the blog piece about it. He has repeated ear infections and a nurse advised us to get it seem to. We saw immediate results – he heard everything. In fact things were too loud to start with. He also stopped snoring so badly. For us it was the best thing to do. He couldn’t dive into the pool but we continue with lessons and made him wear plugs and a hat. He has just now 3 years in stopped wearing plugs. One fell out last year. Not sure about the other! He had one ear inf since and god it was awful BUT all if the gunk flowed out! Which is what’s its supposed to do. Op wasnt nice for us but he cried only when he came round, and was up and running about the next day. If you need anything else please shoot. -HMx

  2. Comment disappeared sorry if this is twice! Our 7 year old boy had grommets put in whilst at pre school. I will try to find the link to the blog piece about it. He has repeated ear infections and a nurse advised us to get it seem to. We saw immediate results – he heard everything. In fact things were too loud to start with. He also stopped snoring so badly. For us it was the best thing to do. He couldn’t dive into the pool but we continue with lessons and made him wear plugs and a hat. He has just now 3 years in stopped wearing plugs. One fell out last year. Not sure about the other! He had one ear inf since and god it was awful BUT all if the gunk flowed out! Which is what’s its supposed to do. Op wasnt nice for us but he cried only when he came round, and was up and running about the next day. If you need anything else please shoot. -HMx

  3. Here’s the piece I blogged when it happened.

    http://ahumdrumum.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/one-small-step-for-elf-one-giant-leap.html?m=0

    • Thanks so much so helpful! Will have a read and post with any questions xx

  4. Am just embarking on this journey too myself, 5yo daughter expected to be referred for grommets in august. Am trialing dairy free in hope…


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