Thursday, September 06, 2007

Poke a Hole in His Head

My son was born with a mild hearing loss. We found this out within his first few weeks of life. When he was only a few months old he got his first set of hearing aids. We've never really known if they help him or not. Some times they really do and others it feels like a waste of time to get them in.

We see an audiologist every month. They take him in the sound booth and test his hearing for a few minutes. At his age he has little patience so they do a little bit each time. The theory is after a while you get the whole picture by putting the pieces together. Each time we go they also to a tympanogram test. For the last (almost) year his levels have been flat (bad), indicating fluid in the ears.

In July we were sent to our ENT to discuss the chronic fluid. We had to wait a month to see the ENT. Once there, he looked fine. So we didn't do anything. Today we went back to the audiologist and once again he had flat levels. Great. Funny thing though, our ENT happens to work at that hospital on various days. He was there today and we were able to see him. Yes. There is fluid. He didn't seem to offer much in the way of a solution. He mentioned ear tubes, but didn't really push one way or another.

The audiologist was pushing for ear tubes. She thinks it will be great for him. So we went ahead and made an appointment to have it done. We have a couple weeks to change our minds, but I don't think we will. It's a simple procedure, but they will knock him out. I'm not wild about that part.

This whole adventure is a catch 22. He isn't really old enough to tell us if the aids help him or not. So we go get testing done. Every time we test he has compromised ears (fluid) so his results are not normal. We have no idea day to day how he is hearing. The aids are set at levels based on his testing. What happens on those days the fluid is gone? Are we blasting him out of the water?

I hope these tubes resolve the fluid issue. Then we can test and I might actually believe the results. Then we can see where to go from there.

1 comment:

Karaoke Diva said...

Bonnie's daughter had tubes when she was a baby/toddler because of chronic ear infections. She said it was great and they just fall out on their own after some time.