I think I just need some reassurance more than anything else. I have been an RN for 19 years, so I well understand all the medical implications of this. My son is 6 years old. The health department did hearing tests at school this winter. He failed two of them, it turns out the second one was done when he was recovering from strep throat and viral bronchitis. The health department failed to tell me he even needed to be restested, and of course I had no idea they were going to retest when they did. If I'd had some say in that, I could have brought him in when he was feeling better.
So they wanted us to see the doctor, which we did. Normally she is very hands-off... try the simplest things first, then be more aggressive ONLY if needed. I don't know what her issue was the day we went, but before even looking in his ears, she started asking me which ENT we needed because he might need tubes.
This is a child who has never, NEVER had an ear infection his entire life. (He breastfed for 4 years.) We do know that he can get fluid in his middle ear when he has a cold. Doc has seen it. He has had colds pretty much all winter as he started kindergarten this year and we have cold winters here. They happened to test him when he was sick. After me balking several times at the suggestion of tubes, she finally looked in his ears and said they looked normal. She then finally said, "So, you want to try something simpler?" And I said YES so she told me how to equalize pressure in ears (I am a scuba diver so very familiar with that) and suggested some mucinex.
We are going back for a retest of hearing in 2 weeks. The lady at the health department said his tympanogram looked like he had an infection, which he doesn't. The nurse who did it is not known for being accurate with anything because she has weighed my kids with winter coats and boots on!!! From what I understand it is easy to mess them up.
Again, I'm an RN for 19 years. I know what I am seeing.
He has not had ANY and I mean, ANY changes in quality of life. He is a great student, hears fine in class, hears fine at home... he did say he couldn't hear well for a SHORT time this winter during a cold (like 1-2 days) but then it was better. HE CAN HEAR. WHY won't ANYONE understand ME when I say HE CAN HEAR??
I am frustrated, annoyed that people seem to want to push me to consider the option of cutting my kid's eardrums for a VERY INTERMITTENT problem that is not even causing a real problem?
I am very confident in my decision not to consider tubes at this time, but just VERY sick of people being pushy and thinking they know better than I do! It's making me mad... sigh.....
If anyone has had any similar experiences, please, I would love to talk to you... I totally think tubes are appropriate when a child has speech delays, does poorly in school because he truly cannot hear, is in pain, has lots of infections.... none of these apply to my son.