Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The EARS, the EARS, the EARS!!

We knew that the ears were critical to speech and language, but were naive when the Drs told us the newborn hearing test was enough. The recommended schedule is annually (sometimes 2x's a year) which seems appropriate. What we learned at about 10 months is that kids with DS often have ear problems, but since they have a high pain tolerance they don't present with symptoms. I have met many a Mom that had no idea their child had ear infections! I have met several moms who kids had SIGNIFICANT hearing loss and they had no idea! Obviously this poses a problem on so many levels.. So, we started seeing the ENT every 2 WEEKS for tympanagrams. I realize many of you are saying "well, that is only good for that period of time," and you are correct, but by having such high frequency it gave us the ability to see what Parker's ears were doing and we did 6 months of that many trips. I am happy to report he has had no issues. It gives a great baseline for you and if nothing else peace of mind. We don't see the Dr each visit, but the audiologist and it isn't considered a "full co-pay" visit by insurance. Depending on your plan obviously, but we pay $50 for a specialist office visit, when we go for tymp. only we pay $20. Ask your pedi if he/she can perform the tympanagram as well. In our case the ENT is closer, so it is easier. If you are using an osteopath, they may be able to perform the test as well.

We learned that often what appears to be a problem with vision (eyes crossing, drifting away, inability to coverge properly, etc..) is usually FIRST and FOREMOST an ear issue! Many times we are quick to think that the kids need glasses or correction, but we should check ears first! We learned that the open mouth or mouth breathing can again often be contributed to an ear issue.

Be forewarned, the medical community will be quick to dismiss this, but like everything else, you have to be your child's advocate. It has too high a cost if you just take their advice at face value. Do your own research and get educated. In our book, speech and language is another top priority!
We will do everything we can to keep Parker's ears (and overall body health) as perfect as possible.


Here is an excellent article to read, one of many...

http://downsyndrome.nacd.org/health_issues_learning.php

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by V's blog, Lara! I just read this post, and was amazed to read that eye problems can be caused by ear problems? How can I find out more? Also, I'll be checking into the CMF b/c of what I've read here--thank you!

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  2. Susanna - Basically the fluid in the ears makes the occular muscles cross and the immediate reaction is to put the child in glasses which isn't always the best answer. Here is a link to read..there are lots of good links on the einstein syndrome listserv too, email me at larafont@windstream.net if you want more info. I highly recommend an ENT visit and regular tympanograms for a period of time to see about fluid. I was taking Parker every two weeks for 6 months for tymps. I think you would really enjoy the NACD program. www.nacd.org NACD has a DS microsite as well with lots of good info and articles. I have written another post about it as well. Blessings! Give V a big hug, she is so precious!
    http://nacd.org/journal/article11.php

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  3. Thank you, Lara! Emailing you...

    ReplyDelete

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