Common ENT Problems

Ear Infections and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss in children is a significant matter. Almost all children in today's society are tested with a newborn screen test in the nursery to make sure that congenital deafness is not present. For those children who develop hearing loss after having had normal hearing noted at birth, the problem typically has several main causes. Oftentimes, earwax impactions are probably the number one reason why children have temporary reversible hearing loss. This is often done because the child or the parent in an attempt to clean the ears uses a Q-tip and impacts wax down in the ear canal. This often can be relieved by various oils and a direct visualization on the part of the pediatrician or the ENT doctor for cleaning the ear directly. Children also have problems with ear fluid or otitis media, that is chronic infections that usually arise usually as a result of a problem from enlarged adenoids or chronic nasal stuffiness that leads to fluid backing up the Eustachian tube and settling behind the eardrum. This fluid behind the eardrum keeps the eardrum from moving and therefore causes the child to have a conductive hearing loss. If this fluid is present for longer than 90 days, oftentimes an ear tube is necessary to relieve the pressure, remove the fluid, and allow the eardrum to move clearly to conduct sound waves from the outer ear into the inner ear so that the child may hear. Meticulous history and physical and hearing testing should be performed on a child with such a hearing loss. If ear tubes are necessary due to otitis media or fluid behind the eardrums, it is often performed in an outpatient surgical center under anesthesia and takes usually less than 4 minutes. The parents may accompany children into the operating room for such a procedure for anesthesia induction. Typically, a child is discharged in less than 30 minutes after such a procedure and usually are seen in the office shortly thereafter for a postoperative hearing test within two weeks. Tubes typically come out by themselves as the child is being followed by the ENT doctor anywhere from 12-18 months. There are usually very few complications with ear tubes. These procedures have been performed successfully for the last 60 years and it is probably the simplest and most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States. At the Pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic, we have been performing ear tube placement for over 25 years. We have a board certified

PhD audiologist for hearing testing. If you suspect your child has a hearing loss or has chronic ear infections, please contact the Pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic at 1800- 526-0998.