I often forget it, but C has hearing problems.
The hospital did the newborn hearing test and he got a ‘refer’ on his left ear [basically they put a thing in his ear that plays noises and they put sensors on his head to measure his brain’s response]. They told us not to worry, there are a lot of infants who get a ‘refer’. So we didn’t.
We then had an appointment schedule at our local children’s hearing centre at 1 month. Same test was done, passed on his right ear, ‘refer’ on his left. The lady administering the test still told us not to worry, it could be fluid or something as simple as too much ear wax. But they needed to refer us to an audiologist to find out what the problem was. They’d call us within 6 weeks with an appointment.
We had our appointment in February. We had to keep him awake for the entire 45 minute drive to the hospital because he had to sleep through the testing. [Oh, and of course there was a snow storm just starting on our way there!] Once we got there, I nursed him to sleep while the audiologist attached various leads to his forehead and behind his ears. Nothing is sadder than seeing your little one hooked up machines. Once he was sound asleep, they inserted a microphone into his ear to produce sounds. After over an hour and much coaxing him back to sleep, the audiologist had her results. She told us that in his left ear, he has moderate to severe hearing loss. It isn’t permanent, as the nerve still is responding, and it probably fluctuates daily. She could not diagnose it, we need to see an ENT for that. [Our appointment is next week] She does think that he has fluid behind his ear drum, but the ENT will let us know. She discharged us from the infant hearing program because he does not need devices and any speech or language therapy because it isn’t permanent. She thinks that he probably will need tubes one day.
Odd, though, is that he hasn’t had a single ear infection yet. You would think that hearing problems would equate with ear infections, but not yet [thank goodness!].
As I said before, I often forget that he has hearing loss. He is able to locate voices very well. He recognizes different voices. And, goodness, does he vocalize well! If it hadn’t been for the testing, then we would have never have known.
We’ll see next week what the ENT has to say. Hopefully it is all good news!