Last week, Callum had his appointment with the Audiology Department of the local health centre to enable them to carry out a decibel check to find out exactly how affected his hearing loss is as a result of the Glue Ear he has in both ears. I didn’t realise but Glue Ear doesn’t have to affect the hearing at all.
The lady (doctor?) was lovely and quickly put Callum at ease and said they were going to play a game. She bought out 2 long wooden boats with little wooden men sitting in them which she removed. She put headphones on Callum and said every time he heard a whistle, he was to put a man in the boat.
This took me back to when they did hearing checks in my senior school, however my test was a lot more boring as was just the case of taking a cup off a stack and putting it in a line when we heard a whistle. Apparently I had grommets fitted in one of my ears as a child but I don’t remember it being fitted.
Anyway, Callum went through both the boats of men, then placing beads on pegs, then a wooden shape sorter toy. A different headphone thing was placed just behind Callums ears with the big headphones placed over one ear then the other. Throughout I had no idea how he was doing.
Towards the end, Callum started to get bored and wasn’t really listening out for the whistles so the lady couldn’t complete the test but had enough data to be conclusive.
She let Callum play with the toy boats and people (I think if she had continued to use this toy, she would have held his attention to the end) while she showed me the results on her computer.
The graphs showed that his right ear, which had moderate hearing loss, was worse than his left which had light-moderate hearing loss. Some of the tests she performed showed that the hearing loss was as a result of the Glue Ear and not anything permanent which was a relief. It was the low vibration noises he struggled to hear more – on his left ear he could hear high pitch noises normally.
She then explained what our choices would be. The first being to continue as we were and hope his Glue Ear cleared up by itself, though advised against this as it was suspected the Glue Ear had already been there for a while and I was concerned about his speech and confidence. The second was to have grommets fitted. The third to have a hearing aid fitted, which was apparently rarely considered by parents but was an option nonetheless.
The next steps was for her to file her report and refer us to the Ears, Nose & Throat (ENT) clinic where they would no doubt do a similar test to what she had done again and then they would make the final decision and recommendation for grommets if that’s what we decide.
For now we are waiting for the ENT clinic appointment. Stuart and I would definitely want to go down the grommets route and we both really hope he can have them fitted before he goes to school as I’m sure it will make a big difference to his confidence and speech.