Deafness/Hearing Impairment/Hearing Loss in 9 YO

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Question
Hi Dr. Linton,

Similar to Steve (10/2013) my daughter has mild/moderate hearing loss due to fluid in both ears.  This has been an ongoing issue for about 3 years. The symptoms are affecting her reading/spelling, and understanding of verbal instructions in noisy environments at school.
The ENT doctor wants to try Flonase, wait another 3 months, then reassess.  The audiologist suggests testing for central auditory processing problems.
Is she a candidate for tubes? Also, can you tell me if you agree with either/both of these treatments?

Thanks for your time!  Peggy

Answer
Peggy,

She may be a candidate for tubes....the ENT will usually determine this by assessing the severity of the past infections and the frequency of the infections.  Honestly, it's a judgment call made by each physician and it depends on their training and personal ideas about resolving middle ear fluid.  I work with some ENT's that are quick to put tubes in and some who wait and wait before doing surgery.  Neither is wrong...just different trains of thought.

As an audiologist, I'm most concerned with a child's progression in learning and their performance in school.  These are critical years and set the foundation for future ability to be successful in a classroom setting.  If your daughter is having problems in school...I would definitely go with the audiologists recommendation and look at further testing.  A child with a history of infections, early, is much more prone to having processing problems.  It never hurts to have it checked and identify any problems so they can be addressed.  If her problems are related to poor hearing due to the continuation of fluid, I have put mild hearing aids on kids just so they can function in class and get the most from the learning time.  The hearing aids are considered temporary because the child doesn't have permanent hearing loss.  They just use the aids while they are stopped up with fluid.  This would be something that should be discussed and handled through the audiologist.

Thank you for your question.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.  
Kelley Linton, AuD  
Doctor of Audiology    centerforhearing.net

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton

Expertise

I'm an audiologist in private practice in Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Florida medical school. I specialize in hearing loss; hearing rehabilitation; hearing aids; noise induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure; OSHA guidelines and regulations; hearing protection; tinnitis; newborn hearing testing; children and hearing loss and diagnosis and etiology of hearing loss.

Experience

I've been a practicing audiologist for 20 years and have owned a private practice for 14 years. I am also an audiologist in the United States Army where I teach DOD hearing conservation regulations and manage 3000 DOD employees at an army industrial facility.

Organizations
Arkansas Academy of Audiology American Academy of Audiology Academy of Doctors of Audiology American Speech and Hearing Association National Hearing Conservation Association

Publications
Journal of the Academy of Audiology Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Arkansas

Education/Credentials
Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology, University of Florida American Academy of Audiology fellow member Audiology Board Certification American Speech and Hearing Association certification Arkansas State Audiology license-current CPT United States Army Medical Corps

Awards and Honors
American Speech and Hearing Association "ACE" award x 7 years United States Army Accommodation Award Arkansas Academy of Audiology elected board of director x 3 years Better community award, Fort Smith, AR for volunteer audiology service to free community health clinic

Past/Present Clients
Serving newborn to geriatric ages.....unable to provide specific names.

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