Toddlers & ear infections: Here’s what you need to know

Emmy Samtani
Emmy Samtani
Emmy is the founder of Kiindred and mother to 3 little ones. Over the last 4 years, she has worked with some of the most credible experts in the parenting space and is a keen contributor on all things parenthood.
Created on Oct 03, 2023 · 2 mins read

Medical concerns with your children can be completely overwhelming, especially when they risk affecting their learning and development. If you have a child who suffers from frequent ear infections, it may be a sign of glue ear. Here is what you need to look out for:

What is Glue Ear?

When the Eustachian tube (which runs from the back of the nose to the middle ear) is too narrow to drain properly. As a result, sticky fluid builds up in the middle ear, leaving your child in pain, prone to further infection and sometimes semi-deaf.

What are the symptoms of Glue Ear?

  • Prolonged periods of hearing loss
  • Difficulty with speech & language development
  • Problems with balance
  • Appearing not to pay attention
  • Irritability
  • Pain

Fortunately there are treatments available, should your child be medically diagnosed with glue ear.

What are Grommets?

Grommet is a tiny tube that is inserted into the eardrum to allow air to enter the middle ear, and reduce the risk of fluid build-up. Grommets are inserted with a simple surgical procedure called a Myringotomy – usually taking between 10 to 20 minutes. The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic, and will usually fall out on their own in 6 to 12 months time.

Do Grommets eliminate future ear infections?

Grommets usually eliminate ear infections after their insertion, and will most certainly improve your toddlers hearing and therefore their learning and language development. It is a good idea to have your toddler’s hearing tested soon after the Grommets have been inserted if they were having problems with this previously. Most children will have a full recovery in their hearing after this procedure, and heal well.

If your toddler is suffering from frequent ear infections, and you think you may be noticing symptoms of Glue Ear, book an appointment with your GP or healthcare provider to have them assessed.

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