health & dyslexia: auditory difficulties – glue ear
Glue Ear & Dyslexia
Often the only sign of ‘glue ear’ in the very young child is when they fail to start talking properly. However, these problems are often picked up when the child has a hearing test at six months of age, and then just before starting school.
If glue ear is not treated, these children may continue to have problems with talking, reading and writing.
There are several different ear tests available some work on high frequency notes. Therefore, it is important to go back to your doctor or health visitor and ask for another check up if you feel there may still be a problem.
What is ‘glue ear’? This is a common condition in childhood. The tube can become obstructed by adenoids at the back of the nose, the air cannot enter the middle ear, and the cavity fills with fluid. The eardrum becomes dark looking. As time goes on the fluid becomes thicker until it has the consistency of thick glue. Often the only sign is deafness and children’s schooling may suffer and behaviour may deteriorate.
In a lot of cases it will clear up by itself but in severe cases treatment will involve making a small hole in the drum, usually under anaesthetic. A tube (grommet) may be inserted; then the adenoids may be removed. Adenoids usually disappear at puberty and most children with glue ear do not need treatment after this time. The hearing is usually restored to normal.