Our children have stuck Lego pieces up their nose and put screws in their mouth (wait, both of those instances involved our son) and for a long time there was something in their ears that didn’t belong: glue.
Specifically, ear glue. Gross, right? Apparently, when my husband and I make babies, we make ones with busted ears. The area behind their eardrum fills up with sticky fluid, which makes it harder for the eardrum to vibrate and carry noise to the inner ear.
The result? Kids that are walking around like they’re underwater — only hearing muffled sounds most of the time. The solution? Drain those ears and prevent further buildup with a tiny set of tubes.
Usually when a parent talks about putting tubes in their child’s ears, it’s because they suffered (and by “they” I mean the parents, too) many, many ear infections.
Neither of our kids has ever had an ear infection but they both needed bilateral myringotomies and tubes in their ears — sometimes more than once. Our otolaryngologist explained some kids are just more prone to “glue ear” because of how their ears are shaped and how their ears change as they grow.
Kids with otitis media with effusion (the medical name for “glue ear”) aren’t in pain, so it’s very different than an ear infection. The only real symptom is hearing loss and it’s not always clear how much (or how little) they can hear, especially when they’re toddlers …
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