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Children with mild conductive hearing loss

The hearing tests which have been carried out today suggest that your child has a mild conductive hearing loss.

A conductive hearing loss is when sound cannot pass efficiently through the outer ear or middle ear on its journey to the cochlea and auditory nerve (inner ear).

What is this due to?

The most common type of conductive hearing loss in children is caused by a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, behind the eardrum. This is sometimes called glue ear. However fluid is not the only cause of a conductive hearing loss.

Will this hearing loss be permanent?

This is a very common condition in young children, and usually it clears up without any treatment. However, it is advisable for your child to have further hearing assessments to make sure this happens.

Does hearing always get better?

Sometimes, instead of improving, the hearing loss can be persistent and lasts 3 months. If this happens then you should refer your child to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to advise whether any treatment is needed.

What treatment may be suggested?

In very few children, it will be recommended that the fluid is removed and ventilation tubes, called grommets, will be inserted into your child’s eardrum during a short operation.

This would usually only be suggested if the hearing loss is persistent, or was causing problems for your child, such as delayed speech and language development, or difficulties in school. For some children, low power hearing aids may be a temporary option.

Is there anything I can do to help my child?

Yes. Ways in which you can help you child include:

  • Do not expose your child to cigarette smoke.
  • Make sure that your child has a clear view of your face when you are talking to them and speak clearly.
  • Try to keep background noise to a minimum when talking to your child.
  • Make sure everyone who spends time with your child is aware that he or she may have difficulty with hearing, particularly in noisy surroundings.

What should I do if their hearing gets worse?

You have been given a routine follow up appointment, but if you notice a worsening in your child’s hearing and would like to be seen earlier, phone 0114 271 7450. Your GP, health visitor or school nurse will also be happy to discuss your concerns with you.

Who will get a copy of this test?

A letter summarising the results will be sent to your family doctor, health visitor or school nurse, and to any other health professional involved with your child. If you have not received a copy of the hearing test, please request one.

What should I do if I have any further questions?

If you have any questions about today’s test results, or about this leaflet, telephone Hearing Services on 0114 271 7450 and ask to speak to an audiologist.

Contact us

If you have any concerns or questions, please ring 0114 271 7450

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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United Kingdom

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