Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Got Tubes?

So, earlier today we had an appointment with our ENT. Because it had been 7 months since Dylan's last hearing test, he had us meet with our audiologist as well.

The bottom line is that they are recommending that Dylan get ear tubes.

Oh, I don't know...Dylan's hearing has always been kind of a mystery to me.

Since his very first hearing test - the newborn screening - the results have been unclear. Some tests he's passed while others he's failed. The last two have revealed mild hearing loss most likely resulting from fluid.

I don't believe he's ever had an ear infection, but his tympanograms have never shown a clear peak as they should. It was quite obvious today that he is not hearing certain frequencies, but for some reason I'm just not sure I'm completely sold on ear tubes.

If it's necessary of course we'll do it, but I guess I'm just wondering if there are other options. Like...non-surgical ones perhaps?

Hmmm...

Any thoughts/opinions on ear tubes would be greatly appreciated. I'm just trying to gather information before moving forward with this.

Thanks so much! : )

15 comments:

Ann said...

Caleb didn't have ear infections but he was hearing certain frequencies and not others during hearing tests (due to fluid). We didn't have any problems with tubes and he's since had a hearing screen come back normal.

Kelly said...

Oh boy, Laurie, something tells me that I will be pondering these same question within the next month. Landon sees the ENT in Boston in July. My poor little guy has had his fair share of ear infections (mostly the result of awful congestion). Up until our last appt., Landon didn't show any signs of hearing loss. But since that appt. he's had like 4 more infections in a short 6 1/2 months.

I am extremely curious to see how things go next month. We were already told that there was a good possibility that he would need tubes in the near future. I guess the test results would be key. I am very weary about putting Landon under unnecessarily. I've always "assumed" that as long as he shows no signs of hearing loss then tubes would not be necessary. Maybe I'm missing something!

This is a tough one. Wish I could be of more help!

Eric and Crista said...

Nate only had one ear infection, but his hearing test showed middle ear fluid. We put tubes in and he is totally babbling/talking so much more. I think it really made a difference! - Here is our post on it:
http://gettingdownwithnate.blogspot.com/2010/01/tubes-in-adenoids-out.html

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

we have had the SAME deal with whitney - she failed her newborn hearing screen 2X in her left ear then she failed her oae follow up test in both ears and her abr did not show good "wave form" on her left ear, she has never done well in the sound booth, then we got tubes last summer - they maybe lasted a MONTH at the most and then proceeded to fall out and the only way we knew was that she stopped responding to her name and turning to sounds, as she had done prior to tubes, so we weren't sure if she was regressing or if the tubes had found out and a tymp. in dec. revealed fluid in both ears- she was not able to get in to the ent for tubes again until this past march and they put in "t" tubes to hopefully stay in place longer. i am not kidding, these "t" tubes have made a WORLD of difference and absolutely in a heartbeat i would do it all over again - i just wish it wouldn't have taken 17 months (how old she was in march) to get it taken care of and have her hearing properly. she has now had good results on her most recent abr and we are hoping to have a good result in the sound booth when we try again in 6 months :) hope this helps...

Rachel said...

We're in that boat right now and we did schedule the tubes for the end of the month...but I am hoping that she has fluid free ears next week when we go so that we can have a hearing test without excuses and REALLY see if she is hearing. If it is still fluid, then the tubes should help. We'll let you know.

monica s said...

3 kids - 2 sets of tubes each! Best thing ever! The surgery was so easy and quick. By the time you sit in the waiting room, they are coming to get you that it is over. AND they never got an ear infection when they had them. Once they had me listen to what it sounded like for Lily with all the fluid in her ears - ugh! How frustrating. Think it's makes it even harder for them to learn to talk if everything they hear sounds muffled. Soooo - bottom line - tubes worked great for us! Good luck!

Wren said...

Neither of my boys have had tubes, but I have several friends who's kids do and they all say it was the best decision they ever made! Surgery was fast, kids were home and playing with in hours, no more infection and their talking soared! Good luck in whatever decision you make, I'm sure it can't be an easy one!

Cate said...

tubes were an easy procedure for us. and, FWIW, the ENT we see said he's more aggressive about tubes for kids with DS just because of the speech/language issues.

Sasha said...

I am for tubes believe it or not. Wysdom kept failing his test and the hearing was fluctuating from test to test. He never really had an ear infection. I did some of my own home test to see if he was looking at me because he could see me or hear me and I thought that his hearing had changed for the worse. I was nervous but the tubes were put in about 15 minutes. Normally it takes about 6 minutes, but for Wysdom it took longer. The only thing is that after several months the tubes may get clogged by wax. Try some little test and see what Dylan does. I am for the tubes as I want him to hear all that he can and develop speech and I do believe that I noticed a difference for the first couple of months.

Kelli said...

Dylan and Lindsey are the same kid in so many ways. Lindsey only had one documented ear infection that was kinda found by accident. She had BAER tests done every 6 months and the last one (at 13 months)showed some hearing loss that they thought was related to fluid.
She could hear, I swear, her head would pop up the moment she heard her bedroom door creak open. Anyway, she needed her tear ducts probed so we figured we would take advantage of her already being under anesthesia and met with the ENT for his thoughts. He agreed and turns out her ears were all gunked up with fluid as thick as jello and glue. Gross.
Needless to say once we had her home she did hear better. The first time Brooke screamed Lindsey's hands went up to her ears like, "oh my what is that noise". Best thing we did.
Good luck with your decision.

j*e*n said...

Ainsley didn't have ear infections and seemed to hear everything that went on around her. She passed every hearing test, but the t-gram test showed fluid in her right ear. So the tubes went in. And the only tube that's come out has been the right one, after less than a year. And since the tube has fallen out, we've actually seen more drainage. For what it's worth, there hasn't been improvement in her speech skills. Very frustrating for us, and probably even more frustrating for her.

Lisa said...

Laurie, you know I avoid invasive procedures like the plague unless really, really called for. That said, Finn got tubes a year ago and I think it's made a really big difference for him. I can't really say for sure if he hears any better (because I don't know that his hearing was bad before), but he has certainly gotten sick A LOT less since he got the tubes placed. He was pretty severely ill almost his whole first winter with upper respiratory infections and ear infections, and since he got his tubes, he's had a few mild colds, and that's it. And he used to make this snorting sound constantly too, which I think was caused by chronic congestion, and once he got the tubes, he stopped.

It is a pretty minor procedure, relatively speaking. Yes, they have to be put out, but the whole procedure takes about 10 - 15 minutes. I remember they took Finn back to the OR, and I went out to the waiting room, and by the time I got semi-comfy and read a couple pages of a book, they were calling me back because he was done. And he was completely fine the rest of the day - there really was no recovery time.

Also, ummmm . . . there's some controversy about making sure they don't get water in their ears once they have tubes placed. Our ENT told us to get ear plugs for Finn, and I never did. I've bathed him, totally pouring water over his head, from day one, and we've never had a problem. For whatever that's worth.

blessingsandglory said...

curious to see what others have to say on the topic...looks like tubes are the popular choice.

our charlie struggled to pass his initial hearing tests, but finally passed successfully on both ears...that said this spring he has had an ear infection for almost two months! it was his first ear infection ever, but has certainly stuck around. which leads us to today, we have started the discussion about tubes and based on my research i've found that yes, the tubes will most likely help his hearing now. this is great news as we have reached a speech plateau (he signs all the time), and sounds promising that with tubes his speech might take off. (though we don't have any indication of a hearing issue as it stands...)

the flip side is that some new studies show that adults today who had tubes as toddlers/kids now have hearing issues as adults.

armed with that knowledge i'm trying to weight the benefits vs. the risks. encourage communication/improve hearing today, or possibly risk harming his hearing in the future...that said i'm leaning towards tubes, but probably won't do anything unless charlie gets another ear infection...

Lis said...

have them just use gas when they do the tubes, not general. Tanner has had them done twice, once each way.

Tammy W. said...

Why did you have your son circumcised? Was that considered medically "necessary" - as far as I know, it's cosmetic. And now your son needs MORE surgery because of it. But you're debating ear tubes? I don't get it.