Thursday, January 18, 2007


Sheena had an appointment this morning to see an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Specialist. Hearing is so complex when it comes to babies. There is so much to it. Here are all the boring details for my own recollection. You have been warned!

1. The structure of Sheena's ears is fine, and her ear-channels are not small as frequently seen with the DS.

2. He doesn't think she should have tubes/grommets just yet. Because;

a. They would probably fall out within 4 months

b. He is reluctant to give her and GA because of her heart issues (but was less so when I told him that she has already had 3).

c. It is not critical at her developmental age for communication - once she is 18-24 months YES, but not so much now. Around 18 months, most kids have about 6 words, so that is when speech starts to become critical. I really pushed him on this one, because after last year, we want to give Sheena every-chance to be as alert and aware as possible. He agreed that grommets can help with alertness, however the last one was a clincher:

d. Tubes can increase the incidence and occurance of ear-infections, and can inhibit antibiotics from working properly, so you end up with chronic ear-infections. Teething can also cause ear-infections, and Sheena is in the midst of cutting teeth, so timing would be poor.

3. I asked him how bad the fluid in the ears was. I was expecting him to say 70%, but he basically said that they are blocked. I was shocked. She can definitely hear, and she particularly enjoys kissing sounds, singing, and sqeaky noises. Very confusing!

4. She'll have a hearing assessment in March, and we will reassess treatment then. Hearing aids could possibly be of use, but the thing is that she can hear - it is just the blockage that needs to be dealt with. But as mentioned, tubes have side-effects too.

5. As a baby, she is typically only 4 metres away from us at any given time, and she is going to learn language from us.

I was very keen for him to be agressive in treatment, and agreed that we need to be 'appropriately agressive'. He didn't sway in his original recommendations even though I was pushing for him to act, so I respect that. He wasn't saying go-away, but rather, lets give this appropriate time and we'll act when it is best for Sheena.


Sara said...

WHAT? How can he say it is not critical for communication at her develomental age????? I say IT is!!! We had an ENT who said that Nathaniel was not hearing well out of one ear, but that was ok cuz he was out of the other ! ????? I said, I would like my Son hearing out of BOTH ears than you very much! Needless to say , we changed ENTs

Jessica said...

I have to agree with Sara... needing to hear is critical! Even if she can still hear, it may be muffled which could be bad for her speech. Joey's ENT said that it's critical for babies to hear at 9 months and up for speech & communication.