Glue ear diagnosis.

(Image sourced from an ENT website, with permission)

So, if you have been following me here, Facebook or Twitter, you will know we have had some major ongoing sleep issues with our boy. We suspected he was suffering from recurrent ear infections, with very few actual symptoms, and we have been working our way to confirmation of this and treatment, and hopefully him feeling better, and more sleep for us all…

Yesterday, we had our first appointment to confirm the diagnosis. We went for a hearing test, and to get his ears looked at properly (not just by our GP) with an Audiologist. They used a special machine to check if he had fluid in his ears, causing the infections and checked his hearing. Thankfully, his hearing is “perfect”, although she did say it might be affected when he has an ear infection, particularly in his right ear. The picture above is what is inside Small Boy’s ears. He has fluid accumulating behind his eardrum, causing pain, and infections. It is ongoing, and one of the main reasons why he hasn’t slept well for a long time!

The boy was a rock star all the way through, on the way there, whilst waiting in the waiting room, during the appointment – he totally took to the audiologist, and was chatting to her and went along with all her tests and requests beautifully, and even gave her a hug and kiss goodbye (I think her letting him play with her gadgets before she used them on him, made him warm to her) and was happily rewarded with a strawberry ice lolly on the way home.

So, off to ENT we go for the next step….

Posted in Health, Sensory Processing Disorder and tagged Audiology, chronic ear infections, Glue Ear, Magic Moments, Sleep, Small Boy.


  1. It’s great once you get a diagnosis and feel you can actually do something. Both our boys suffered / suffer fom severe Glue ear. The eldest has had 24 perforations and the youngest apparently had more like tar ear than glue.

    It’s painful and also if they can’t hear properly makes them miss out on so many things.

    If you ever want to ask about the parent side of glue ear – feel free to stop by and ask away. We have had it almost non-stop for 7 years and have fought many a GP on this topic…

    • Thanks! I may need ask advice! My gp has referred us to ENT, but they have messed up the referral, a letter was allegedly sent to us on the 18th of April, but we haven’t got it yet, and I keep asking them to chase it up, with no results. My husband has some private cover from his work, they have said they will cover the referral and grommets if needed, so we are considering going down that route, I am so tired, and so over the whole thing, and just want him to feel better and his ears sorted! πŸ™‚

      • It would be faster to go the private ENT route if you have cover & they can do more. You would have to pay for any medication if they choose to prescribe but if you are able to – I would go that route.

        • We have decided to go private. My husband’s work has some health insurance and they have agreed to pay for a consultant appointment, and probably the grommet surgery, if it is decided that is what is needed, we see the doctor next week, so we will hopefully know what’s what by then! Thanks so much, for the input, it’s hard to know, what to do for the best, it is after all surgery, but I think we have waited for 2 years, and enough is enough! πŸ™‚

  2. after all the stress and heartache over the last few months i have no doubt this is a #magicmoment !! i am so pleased you now know what is going off and it can be dealt with.

    Thanks for linking up with #magicmoments xx

    • Thanks. GP has messed up ENT referral today, so I am cursing, and trying to get that sorted! πŸ™

  3. I know just how you feel and can totally understand this as a magic moment.
    Our son was diagnosed with glue ear in November 2011 when he was 2, it affected his sleep but for us the worst issue was that it has delayed his speech (something it sounds like you have avoided) we faced a lot of pressure from family to have grommets but all my research suggested that this clears on it’s own in almost all cases. In March 2012 his hearing had improved and in November ’12 he was discharged. My son was very small when this happened and so we had plenty of time but I am so glad we didn’t go down the surgical route.
    I hope the referral to ent goes well and if you do go for surgery I believe the effects are very dramatic and rapid, though the surgery will need repeating after 9 months or so when the grommets fall out if the glue ear hasn’t cleared. xxx

    • Thanks. The surgical route, for us, is the only sensible option now. We think he has been struggling with this since he was 8 months old, and he has tonnes of fluid behind each ear drum, so I really don’t want to wait any longer, technically, we have been “waiting” for over 2 years. He is in a fair amount of pain and his sleep is awful, and he starts nursery in September, so as much as I am reluctant to put him under GA, I don’t think we can wait it out any longer. It is the usual option, to wait it out and watch and see and I am not usually gung ho about stuff like this, but I have also worked in ENT, so I feel like we are making the right decision for us. I hate the idea of him being put to sleep, and an operation, but we hope this will be what will work for him. It’s such a hard decision to make. I am glad your son’s hearing improved, and things are better for you, appreciate your view, it’s good to hear the other side of the story and realise we’re not alone in the ear infection world! πŸ™‚

      • It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into it and as long as you’re happy with it that’s what matters, everyone’s case is different and I’ve heard some brilliant stories through nursery of how successful the op is. We got very close to having the surgery ourselves, but I was too scared of the general anaesthetic and cancelled. We found the private ENT route very good, the consultant we saw was also the consultant referred to by audiology at our NHS hospital which meant we saw him very quickly through the private route but then got transferred to the NHS hospital for the actual surgery waiting list. The private hospital near us couldn’t have done our surgery as they wouldn’t treat under 3s as policy in case something went wrong (worth looking into if you are thinking of going private, I expect bigger private hospitals are different and can treat younger patients). Fingers crossed the referral gets sorted out for you.xx

  4. Strange isn’t it when a diagnosis sounds like a relief, but not knowing can be so much worse. Sorry about the mix up with the referral. I would say persevere – always frustrating but often find that I need to keep on the case to make sure J gets treatment he needs. A (metaphorical) punchbag comes in very handy.

  5. Pingback: Conversations with my son | Mummy makes cakes

  6. Hi again, I have just been writing about my own glue ear experiences and mentioned you in my post. Have a look and if you would like me to remove the mention please just let me know. Hope that is ok xx

  7. Hello following you from the #MagicMoments link up, my daughter has to go to the Audiology department at the local hospital next month, she is 5, just received a letter in the post today (funnily enough just now as I read this post) I am a newbie blogger so if you have a moment I would love it if you could maybe pop over and take a look it’s I look forward to reading more on your blog.


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