My four year-old daughter is complaining that she can't hear things. This has been going on for about two weeks now, and we're just now figuring out that it may be a legitimate issue and not an excuse for her not to listen to us.

She had an ear infection about 4 weeks ago, so I'm wondering if this triggered some sort of temporary hearing problem. We're going to take her to the doc on Monday, but I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Follow-up for everyone curious as to the cause and outcome... My daughter never had ear infections (thanks to breast feeding?) until this one at age 4, and it resulted in some very persistent fluid accumulation in her ears. Perscription medications helped, but did not completely clear up the problem. So after giving this plenty of time to resolve on its own, we're now scheduled for the surgery to get tubes in her ears so she can finally be free of the fluid and have her normal hearing restored. Adenoids were also identified as a problem for her (they put pressure on the Eustachian tube and prevent drainage and, oddly enough, make her very sensitive to certain loud noises), so those are coming out as well. Her tonsils are staying in--they are in good shape and don't appear to be causing any problems.

Thank you all for weighing in. I appreciate it.

asked 10 Jan '10, 00:18

Ted%20Glick's gravatar image

Ted Glick
accept rate: 0%

edited 24 Feb '10, 17:13

Hi Ted. Wondering if you had any luck at the Doctor's...

(24 Feb '10, 04:29) Scott ♦♦

There could be fluid in the ear that has not drained since the ear infection. This would definitely effect her hearing.

This can be a common problem for some kids. Both my kids had issues with fluid not draining properly in their 0-3 years, which effected their hearing, which in turn effected their speech development. Both ended up having grommets put in their ears to allow drainage, and needed speech therapy, but are both totally fine now (10 and 7 years old now).

Not saying this is a persistent problem for your daughter - most probably a one off from the ear infection - just sharing my experience and affirming that there could definitely be temporary hearing problems.


answered 10 Jan '10, 03:20

Evan's gravatar image

accept rate: 55%


+1 for pointing out speech developing problems when such a thing is left untreated

(10 Jan '10, 07:46) brandstaetter

In the US they call grommets "PE tubes," in which the PE stands for Pressure Equalization. Just FYI. I agree with Evan, that from my experience as a speech therapist it's probably fluid, get it checked out ASAP.

(11 Jan '10, 07:43) Sabrina

I have just started noticing this in my four year old. That is what brought me here. He has never had a lot of ear infections and has always had great speech but the last two weeks I have to repeat EVERYTHING I say to him because he doesnt hear me. Have any of you done hearing test? If so did they work on a child that young. I am very concerned that my son is loosing his hearing or something. ( I tend to overreact) If any of you have any suggestions please let me know.


answered 24 Feb '10, 04:22

Lisa%201's gravatar image

Lisa 1
accept rate: 0%


Hi Lisa, and welcome! Consider taking the "Have any of you done hearing test? If so did they work on a child that young" and moving it into a new question, and it could get more attention. This site is just a Q&A site, not a forum, so your question might get buried in this spot. Thanks!

(24 Feb '10, 04:28) Scott ♦♦

Lisa, pediatric audiologists can do effective hearing tests for toddlers, so I'd recommend that for you. Also have him checked for persistent fluid in the ears (see my edit to the original question above for more info). Best of luck to you.

(24 Feb '10, 17:16) Ted Glick

My eldest tends to have hearing problems whenever she has a cold - as I understand it from the doctor she has quite narrow ear tubes which tend to get blocked up with fluid. On the other hand she did end up with them completely blocked with wax at one stage (she was 5 going on 6) and the doctor decided they should be syringed. This was uncomfortable for her, but not painful, and her hearing did improve massively afterwards. Now, whenever I take her to the doctor for anything I get him to look in her ears with his otoscope to check they aren't blocked again. And I put a few drops of olive oil in her ears when I remember to try to keep the wax soft so it doesn't block them again.


answered 10 Jan '10, 10:36

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%


+1 for the olive oil tip! often the cheapest and most natural option is the most effective!

(10 Jan '10, 22:36) Lin
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Asked: 10 Jan '10, 00:18

Seen: 16,925 times

Last updated: 24 Feb '10, 17:13