Forum: Children with Vision, Hearing & Sensory Issues
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So it has been determined that my son has some hearing loss. He has fluid in his ears (but no infections) The audiologist said that he needs tube in his ears. I am trying to decide if it is necessary, his hearing loss isn't that bad, and I feel like it will resolve itself over time. What do you think?
I think it depends on how much "some" is. To me, if it's affecting his hearing, it's affecting his ability to learn language at a critical time - and it's worth the tubes. I have a friend whose son didn't have infections that often but did have fluid build up. They put off tubes until he was 2 and a half, and to this day (he is in third grade) he has speech delays...and those speech delays have also impacted his ability to read, since he has trouble sounding things out.
I definitely understand your hesitation! My son got tubes around Peter's age, but his hearing loss was profound in both ears, and they had to establish whether tubes would help or not before moving forward with cochlear implants. It was a VERY easy surgery; the hardest part, of course, was fasting beforehand, but they make sure to get the little ones in first thing in the morning to hopefully help with that. I'd barely had time to sit down and find a show on TV to watch after they took him, and they were bringing him back, all done and waking back up. And man, nursing makes recovery easy, LOL.
The fact that he has trouble localizing tells me he's definitely hearing things muffled, which will have an affect on speech later. With Peter being SO young, a part of me says you could wait until a year...but it depends on where you live, too. If you're heading into fall and winter, that's the time of year that is terrible for fluid build up in the ears anyway, you know? You say your audiologist has suggested tubes... it wouldn't hurt, if you haven't already, to at least meet with an ENT and see if they agree and how they can address your concerns about surgery so young.
I would strongly recommend tubes asap. My 4 yr old son still has issues with speech because of hearing loss caused by fluids. He had tubes put in at 20 mos but they fell out within 6 wks. We decided to wait and see if it would work itself out, after all his fluids were drained at the surgery, and I, like you, did not want to put my son in another surgery if it wasn't neccessary. He had to get new tubes in february this year. Slow system had us wait for a surgery date etc but that's a whole other issue.
Anyway, point is, it might sound scary but it's so frustrating to watch your son fall behind his peers because he can't express and keep us socially.
We are in the midst of this right now as well Our ENT wanted to try meds first so Bryce has been on Flonase the past month. We had our followup on Friday and while he still can't pass the hearing test, he made improvement and the fluid levels are down. Plus he has had a burst of new/clearer words this past week The ENT wants him to continue the Flonase for one more month and then take two months off and do another hearing test. If his ears have filled back up with fluid, tubes it is :/