Glue Ear & Grommets
Children are predisposed to hearing loss due to middle ear infections and "glue ear" - which is trapped fluid around the bones of hearing. This results in a hearing loss which can slow speech and language learning in their formative developmental years. Furthermore, these issues can lead to permanent hearing loss, scarring of the hearing structures and other adverse complications.
Children suffer glue ear and middle ear infections ("otitis media") as a consequence of:
- The smaller anatomy between their nose and ears (Eustachian tube)
- Immature immune system
- Exposure to viruses and bacteria at day care & school
- Rarely, congenital issues related to the development of the ear and hearing structures
Grommets (or Ventilation tubes) are tiny tubes placed in the ear drum under anaesthetic. It allows the ear fluid to drain out, and allows the middle ear to "breathe" until the anatomy is matured with age. It can have a dramatic benefit to hearing, speech and language development and general behaviour.