October 29, 2010

Ears Ears Ears! (And a Couple Pictures)

We saw the audiologist today who both checked Chase's ears for fluid and tested his hearing. We have been doing this once a month to make sure there is no fluid - as long as there is no fluid and we're being vigilant, we can get by without tubes. Otherwise, we'd need to put in ear tubes to make sure Chase hears ok and that any loss of hearing is corrected. Hearing is so important to little kids with Down syndrome because a loss of hearing affects their speech - both pronunciation and general learning to talk.

This was the first time that Chase failed one of the hearing tests. His right ear was fine, but his left ear showed a tympanogram that was completely flat - that means that there was significant fluid such that the eardrum could not bounce back properly. When they put him in the "booth" to test the hearing, he did fine on the right side but had trouble with localization on the left side. In other words, he was having trouble hearing the softer noises with his left ear and was having trouble finding where the sound was coming from with his left ear.

Our plan of action is to meet with the pediatrician to make sure that the fluid does not turn into an infection, and to give the ear time to clear itself of fluid. With Chase's history of constant congestion that really never clears up, this may not happen and he may need to have tubes put in. Although tubes are a very easy, quick procedure that tons of kids have, Chase's tiny ear canals make it hard to get tubes to fit in properly and they can fall out easily. So avoiding tubes would be nice, but obviously not at the expense fo his hearing!

It is hard to think that for the next four weeks, he may not be able to hear well out of one ear. Hopefully this will not impede his speech development or turn into an infection. So pray for Chase - for  his congestion and his hearing!

1 comment:

  1. I see this post is almost a year old. We have been battling with ENT and audiologist since Feb/ March to get a resolution with Hearing loss. Im sad to say that the second audiologist seems worse than the first. I am glad I didnt burn my bridges. How are you doing a year later?