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Anyone have experience of glue ear?

My little man had a hearing test today and confirmed he has glue ear. Not too terrible in itself but he is 3/4 deaf and will need an operation to insert a grommit so his ear can drain out the wax.

The long term effect of this can be dyslexia. I'm dyslexic myself and it was a struggle. I'm worried for him.

Has anyone else any experience of this?


  • I did ENT at med school and have to say that of all the children I saw with glue ear, I don't remember dyslexia being a major issue. Learning can be an issue as the deafness until they get grommits can affect their learning.
    Sorry I can't be more help.
  • Its alright, thanks for they imput. My experience is that dyslexic assessors down the line use it as "probably caused by..."
  • Hiya, my niece had this. She is 3 years old & had grommits fitted a few weeks ago. She was only diagosed at the beginning of the year because her speech wasnt coming along as it should. She is doing absolutely fine now though & has come on in leaps & bounds in just the few weeks she has had them fitted. My husbands nephew also had it & he is now doing great after having grommits. I dont have experience of dyslexia & dont know whether the glue ear causes it i'm afraid but both the children i know with glue ear have really improved after their grommits. Hope your little one is ok & all goes well with the grommits xx
  • Hi there, my DS is almost 1 and has glue ear. He will be having his op next year. Tbh, I have never heard about the links to dyslexia but the risks & long term damage (in my personal experience) that can occur from not having the surgery are a lot worse.

    As someone who also suffered from glue ear myself, which was massively neglected by the NHS as a child (I didn't get my first set of grommets until I was around 7 by which point most of the damage had been done) I have not thought twice about allowing for my sons op to go ahead so early. I have moderate to severe loss in both ears & wear hearing aids. This is all due to the years of damage caused by frequent ear infections where the fluid could not drain. I still suffer from so many problems now and I would hate for my little boy to go through what I have been through.

    I know it's a worry putting your baby through surgery and there will always be numerous risks in any operation but it really is such a short proceedure and if done early there are less chances of problems in the future and less chances of affecting their schooling.

    Hth xx

  • Ollie has glue ear and had grommets put in just before his 2nd birthday.
    He didn't talk at all for a long time, and couldn't hear us while he had glue ear - now he is getting well up to speed with his speech and is about normal for his age. (his speech therapist said because his speech had been so restriced for that time he was advanced in other ways because he had to compensate for it.)
    Me and my sister both had grommets put in, mysister twice, and we're both ok.

  • Thanks. I mention the dyslexia as my own glue ear contributed to me developing dyslexia. I suppose if you nip it in the bud there is nothing to worry about.

    Thanks for all your answers, especially as I might go see about getting a grommit for myself!

    Alcott, I feel the pain. I still have glue ear and constant ear infections myself hence the concern for the baby because I know how it can pan out .

    Also he was uttering those first few words 6 months ago and now he doesn't talk at all.

    How was your grommit op? What happened?

  • T

    Also he was uttering those first few words 6 months ago and now he doesn't talk at all.

    That sounds like Ollie, he was well on target with his speech until he ended up in hospital with tonsilitis and bronchiolitis at 18 months, which resulted in his glue ear. He then didnt talk for a year! and only really started talking properly 8 months ago.. he's not so sharp with his writing skills but nursery say he is about average for his age with his mark making... and he can draw shapes and follow dots in the shape of letter etc...

    He recovered from the op within half an hour which surprised some of the staff on the childrens ward, and has been fine since.


  • cherry_tree, sorry to hear you suffer from problems too. I've had numerous sets of grommets as a child which never corrected my glue ear so by the time I was 17 I was fitted with t-tubes which stay in the ear for a longer period of time. Over 10 years after my tubes were fitted they started causing me problems so I had them removed last month. I'm now left with badly perforated ear drums so I'm awaiting surgery for an ear drum graft.

    You should defintely speak to your ENT consultant although I'm not sure if you would be considered too old for grommets now so you could always go down the t-tube route if my story hasn't put you off. I think (I might be wrong) but if you are still plagued with glue ear as an adult it's a life long thing. Grommets do not stay in the ear for very long you see.

    Lots of luck to you and your lo. I can really sympathise. xx
  • Hi All

    hope someone can answer my queries. My child is now 3 yr 3 months . Two years ago ENT specialist had told us to do grommet surgery to improve child speech and hearing. He was responding then and again last year we had another second opinion and sort of similar was advised along with that we did many audiology tests last year and one this year. Sicne last year there has been improvements in talking and he is responding quite well. However the audiology report says some fine hearing loss is there or its currently at hearing threshhold level below 40 for one ear. They have repeadtedly told us fluid being in ears. Fine hearing may not be there but he repeats, talks normally and responds well at home adn day care. Sometimes need instructions to be repeated at kinder but that could be for various other reasons too mood, surrounding noise, etc. Outside he is quite boy but not all times. I have booked in for surgery date but in two minds if we should really go ahead with it. After reading everyone reviews they had different issues. My son never complained about anything related to ears, pain or anything. We had waxed cleared once by specialist last year. However fluid problem before and after that was same. When he was two years was talking very less but now is talking all ok in two languages what he should at his level. Though we didn't do surgery earlier a year before no problems so should we still go ahead just to drain the fluid? Will it not dry over period of time or improvment happen after he grows up. Based on specialist report adn audiology report shuld we go ahead for surgery. They said before surgery they don't check anything and will go straight to anaethesia and proceed for cut and grommet insertions. I also ready people have repeated the treatments many times. So worried if it doesn't help once then is it worth going for it or just wait? Sorry for confusing questions but just worried about the surgery though I know i shouldn't as its basic procedure. But trust me if I had to go through it myself I would think 20 times so same for my child worried more as he is so small.
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