Children’s Ear problems including wax and glue ear
Ear problems in children are very common but thankfully are generally easily treated and managed.
It is very common for children to experience difficulties with their hearing due to temporary conditions. This includes:
- A build-up of wax in the outer ear
- Fluid gathering in their middle ear (often referred to as glue ear)
Especially when your child is very young they may not be aware they are experiencing difficulties with their ears.
Hearing loss can involve struggling to grasp certain pitches, muffled sound or a hearing problem which comes and goes.
Your child may also mention that they can hear buzzing or ringing that you can’t hear, or they may display problems with balance.
The signs to look out for include:
- Inattentiveness at school or nursery
- Appearing to not listen to you when you speak
- A lack of response to loud noises and other sound
- Speech may become hesitant, or overly loud or soft, and they may turn the TV and other devices up too loud
- Delay in development of speech
Other symptoms of ear problems in children include:
- High temperature and vomiting due to an infection
- Showing they are in pain by rubbing or poking their ears or tilting their head
- A bad smell or discharge coming from one or both ears
A careful examination, hearing tests and in some cases, scanning techniques, are used to diagnose ear problems and decide the best course of treatment.
Once the cause of the ear problem has be identified, treatment options will be discussed with you and started promptly to ensure quick resolution.
Glue ear (fluid behind the ear drum)
A leading cause of prolonged ear problems in children is glue ear. This is when fluid accumulates in the area behind the ear drum and reduces hearing.
For some children it is a temporary problem and the fluid clears over a period of a few weeks with no intervention. Some children have fluid which persists and benefits from treatment.
Glue ear may clear up on its own, but in some cases, therapies known as auto inflation are used to release pressure and allow the fluid to drain. This can be used in children over the age of five. If necessary, the fluid can be drained using a temporary tube called a grommet. This is inserted during a simple, short medical procedure under anaesthetic.
Ear wax can cause discomfort and hearing problems for children. Wax softening drops such as olive oil can be effective at clearing wax. If this does not work then Mr Lakhani will be able to clear the wax during your clinic appointment. He will use modern equipment and techniques to remove the wax under direct vision avoiding the need for traditional treatments such as syringing.
He also works with specialist children’s audiologists (specialist who perform hearing testing) if hearing tests are required.
If your child has an ear infection this is relatively straightforward to identify and treat. The ear is likely to benefit from being gently cleaned by Mr Lakhani and subsequently treated with antibiotics. The ear will be checked after a few days to ensure treatment is progressing as expected.
Could we also have a statement somewhere on the page saying something like ‘Working with the best children’s hearing specialists in London to obtain quick and accurate hearing tests for your child’