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Pediatric Audiology

Ear Infections

Some people think of an ear infection as a ‘rite of passage’ for kids because nearly every child has experienced some degree of ear pain before they reach age five. Most ear infections are viral or bacterial in nature and either resolve on their own or with the help of antibiotics.

For some children, however, their ear infection is attributed to excess fluid buildup in the middle ear. This chronic problem requires the insertion of an ear tube by an ENT specialist at Ogden Clinic.

What are ear tubes?

Made of plastic, ear tubes resemble a hollow spool. They are recommended for children who have persistent ear infections or who have fluid buildup behind their ear drum. When ear tubes are placed, a small surgical opening is made in the ear drum while the child is unconscious under general anesthesia.

Along with reducing pain and pressure, ear tubes also improve hearing in children. When in place, they prevent the buildup of fluid, giving kids a much clearer sound perception. Ear tubes usually fall out on their own in six to 12 months. If they do not fall out, an Ogden Clinic professional can remove them.

Ear tubes treat ear infections by allowing air to enter the middle ear. They also enable fluid to flow out of the middle ear through the tube. This clearage helps to restore hearing, eliminate the feeling of pain and pressure, and prevents future buildup while it’s in the ear.

Pediatric Hearing Tests

Serious hearing problems during childhood are rare, but it’s important to have your child’s hearing tested regularly to prevent any issues with speech and language development, social skills, or your child’s education.

How often should my child’s hearing be checked?

A newborn hearing screening is carried out in the first few weeks following birth. Your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor will perform the newborn hearing screening.

8 months to 2 ½ years - If your child has no apparent hearing difficulties, routine hearing tests will be conducted during well-child visits between ages 1 and 2 ½.

Age 4 - 5 - All children in Utah receive a hearing test before they begin elementary school.

Within a few weeks of birth - What should I do if I suspect my child has a hearing problem?

Although your child will receive routine hearing tests as they grow up, it's still important for you to look out for signs of any hearing difficulties and seek advice if you have concerns. In older children, signs of a possible hearing problem may include:

  • Talking loudly or listening to music/TV at a high volume
  • Not responding when they are addressed
  • A change in progress at school
  • Poor concentration or attentiveness
  • Difficulty locating where a sound is coming from

Contact our audiology office in Ogden for an appointment if you are concerned about your child’s hearing.

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