Child's hearing loss


My daughter has been evaluated for hearing loss twice from the public school she attends and twice from an audiologist. The public school believed there was a hearing problem but on the first test with the audiologist, they said her hearing was “within normal limits” though it was right on the line.

After a few months, I insisted the audiologist test her again because I truely felt there was a problem with my daughters hearing as well. This time after taking the sound proof room test, they said that she tested below the normal limit in one ear. So then they took this device that looks like an ear thermometer and said it will test for water in the ear. I think she scored a 60 or 70 (though I can’t be sure). The doctor stated that this test showed there was water in her right ear. (Her left ear he said was fine because it tested over 100). He said that even though it showed water in the ear, he didn’t think it was significant enough to cause a hearing problem. However, I kept asking about getting a hearing aid because it is very difficult and frustrating to constantly have my daughter saying “what” to every sentence, her very clear speech problem, and her difficulties at school with paying attention.

The doctor said he would be more comfortable with putting a tube in her right ear. When it came time for the surgery and the doctor opened up her ear, he stated he did not see any water or problems. He said he would put the tube in anyway just to see if it made a difference. So we have had the tube in for about a month and if anything, I feel her hearing is even worse.

We are going to have another visit with the doctor to check up on everything. I’m wondering if I should insist on a hearing aid regardless of what the doctor says. I’m sure they will put her in the sound proof booth again but I can’t rely on what the tests say because they got it wrong before. So what should I do? If I do insist on a hearing aid, do they have to give it to me? I am very limited with my choice of doctors because of my insurance so getting another opinion is not an option.

I would really like to get this issues resolved because we also feel she might be suffering from ADHD. She meets all of the criteria for it, but I also read a report that a hearing problem can mimic ADHD symptoms. Any and all information is greatly appreciated.

When you child was tested, did they also do bone conduciton testing, where they put an osscilator which looks like a small black box with a headband behind each ear and tested bone conduction results?

If they did and if the affected ear shows good or perfect hearing thru that test and poorer results through the earphones (air conduction), then it may signal a problem in the middle ear and then a hearing aid may not be the best solution.

If the bone conduction and air conduction scores are the same, then a hearing aid may be a good option.

Very often, children have a conductive hearing loss caused by infections, fluid buildup in the middle ear cavity, etc which are often helped with the insertion of the PE Tubes, which should naturally fall out and heal itself (the eardrum) in a few months.

Hope this helps.

Feel free to PM me or email the test results and I can reply back with some suggestions that you may want to consider.

This is the first that I’ve heard of a bone conduction test and I will make sure to mention it tomorrow at our appointment.

I also wanted to mention that the school gave her a tymph test which she failed (they said it came back flat) in her right ear. Any clue what that might mean?

If the tymp result is flat, then it usually means the eardrum and/or middle ear ossicles are not moving, which usually results from fluid in the middle ear for children.

In adults, this can be caused by calcium deposits on the ossicles, particularly the stapes and is called otosclerosis.

In any case, if the bone conduction scores are good, which I would imaging they are, find a very highly recommended ENT.

We had our appointment yesterday. The bone conduction tests are coming back fine. But the tymp test is still showing a problem and the thermometer thing that measures water in the ear is still registering a 70 something. The sound proof booth results are coming back identical as they were before the ear tubes were put in. I don’t have the graph with me, but it showed her having moderate hearing loss in the 2,000 db range. The other db’s were ok.

The ENT does not know what the problem is. We are coming back in 3 weeks for another hearing test, but I’m confident time is not going to heal her hearing problem.

I must admit that the doctor does not seem concerned about the hearing loss. It seems we are only going through all of these things because I am pushing him to. Maybe lacking hearing in only one db range is really not that big of a deal? I’m only pushing him because of the problems we are having at home and at school.

As much as I would like to use the best doctor out there, my insurance is through the state (public aid). So I really have no options. It was hard enough finding this doctor.

If the bone conduction scores are normal and she has a moderate loss at even 1 or a few frequncies, that is cause for concern.

If the tubes are in, and they are not plugged up, then there must be something causing the ossicles to not move properly.

Maybe the ENT can order an MRI or at least a CT scan to explore further, to rule out any other issues that can be causing the problem, such as growths in the middle ear cavity.

We had another audio test again today which showed no improvement (not like anyone thought there was going to be). And now they are telling me to just bring her back in 6 months to test her again. Actually, the test she took today was slightly worse than her previous one. The doctor has no solution and states he does not think a hearing aid is necessary because it is in the mild range and then only in the moderate range for one of the higher frequencies. It is possible she suffers from ADD and that compounded with the mild hearing loss is what is causing the problems at home and school. But should I still insist on a hearing aid? Go somewhere else? Why do they seem so reluctant to give her a hearing aid?

Even mild hearing loss in children are a great concern, as it can affect their learning abilities tremendously, particularly as children are building up their vocabulary.

Maybe the best thing to do is to find a good Audiologist who works with children to help find the right solution and the right ENT for your child.

If my child had even a mild hearing loss, I would definitely try to first find out what the cause of the loss is, especially if the bone conduction scores are good, as this may indicate a conductive hearing loss that may be able to be solved medically. Then if that is not possible, then, I would work with an audiologist who works with children to find out what amplification solutions would best meet the needs.

In addition, the school may be able to provide some accomodations, which you may want to look at.