My daughter and glue ear


So this is my wife Rachel and I’m Peter and we have three lovely children. We have Oliver who is 12, Lottie who is 10 and Libby who is seven. Libby got her diagnosis of glue ear and we were put on watching and waiting which is really normal to see if the glue goes away because it often does. The reason that she got her diagnosis in the end was because we just had to keep going back to the doctor. She just got lots of colds, she got lots of ear infections. And her language perhaps wasn’t coming on as we might have expected. And it just so happened that at that time I’d read an article you could treat glue ear with hearing aids. No-one told us about that when we were actually at the hospital, they said we were going to watch and wait and then come back and we can later talk about grommets but they didn’t mention the hearing aids to us but I’d read about it in the National Deaf Children’s Society magazine so I rang the National Deaf Children’s Society and asked a little bit more and the helpline lady was great and she said, yes, you just ask for it so I did and immediately got referred to the department of audiology where they do hearing aids. She was given one to begin with, she got one hearing aid and she got on very, very well with that. She really liked it and almost immediately we saw a difference in the way that she was responding to different environments. She was able to communicate a lot more clearly, she could obviously hear what we were saying and that worked really well. I remember driving her home from audiology actually as soon as she got it and I always had the radio on low and she said “Mummy! What’s that noise?” It was the first time she’d heard that the radio was on. And the seat belt beep. So, I didn’t put the seat belt on straight away and she heard the seat belt beep and that was just two examples in the first 20 seconds of getting in the car of things she’d just not heard before she got the hearing aid. And the second hearing aid, it worked but she didn’t like wearing it as much. Once she went to school as it was a much noisier environment then the hearing aid started to maybe work against her. It didn’t work nearly as well when she went to school and it was just too busy and too many children and she didn’t like it and it didn’t work and then we got parent’s evening around, I don’t know, beginning of the summer term and they said she’s not meeting her potential. At that point we felt we had to move from the hearing aid back into the Ear, Nose and Throat department so she did end up having grommets. Grommets were a good thing when we got to that point but I’m glad we didn’t do them too quickly though because we still needed two sets. So it was good that we tried something else and something else that worked beforehand because you don’t want to be doing – well, we didn’t want to be putting her under general anaesthetic more times than you could possibly need to. So where she is now, so Libby does still have glue ear so she’s seven now so we’re hoping that this might be her last winter, she should start to grow out of it. She’s definitely worse in the winter so we kind of see it in winters, don’t we. If we get through this winter then hopefully she might have grown out of it by next summer. That’s the hope. She’s doing well at school at the moment and her reading has come on a lot. I think it would be a lot further on than it is now if maybe she obviously hadn’t had glue ear when she was younger. Libby is thriving in many ways and she is such a happy child and she’s very popular at school which is lovely to see.

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