Do you have an ear infection?
Glue ear, blocked ears & other common conditions
An ear infection can often be responsible for temporary conductive hearing loss. Among the more common are otitis media with effusion (glue ear), otitis media (middle ear infection), otitis externa (swimmers’ ear), barotrauma (airplane ears) and labyrinthitis. Even blocked ears from a large build-up of ear wax can cause problems, and infections can trigger tinnitus. Therefore, it’s very important to be vigilant about ear health – especially in children – to minimise any sustained damage to its delicate structures and prevent any delay in your child’s speech or language development.
Middle ear infection (otitis media)
If a child has an ear infection, it’s often in the middle ear (otitis media) and accompanied by pain and fever. This is often as a result of a poorly functioning Eustachian tube which clears the middle ear from the back of the throat. If ear infections occur on a regular, long term basis, grommets are usually recommended. These are tiny plastic-flanged tubes which can be inserted under anaesthetic through a small hole in the eardrum to allow air into the middle ear, improve drainage and hearing.
Glue ear (otitis media with effusion)
So-called glue ear may have no symptoms, but the child will experience some hearing loss, which could interfere with their language development and learning. Sometimes grumpiness, clumsiness or an elevated temperature. Glue ear episodes may resolve without treatment however if there is sustained fluid behind the ear drum, grommets are often recommended.
If you have any concerns about your hearing or health of your ear be sure to contact the professionals at Audiology South and let us help steer you in the right direction. Alternatively contact your family doctor for assistance. What ever you do please don't wait, hearing is just too precious to lose!