Drastic, Sudden Change in 7 Year Old Hearing - Possibly Allergies?

Updated on March 24, 2008
K.H. asks from Los Angeles, CA
11 answers

My 7 year old's hearing has drastically worsened in the last month. She took a hearning test at school in September and her results were perfect. About 3 weeks ago I noticed that she was repeatedly asking, What? whenever we talked to her. At that point I thought she was joking around. The next week I noticed that she didn't do what she was told to do until you said it several times. At that point I thought she's not joking, but she just isn't paying attention. Then last week one night as we were laying in bed (she still sleeps with me because of space issues)I realized she couldn't hear me. It was night-time, there was no one in the room but us, there wasn't any background noise like a tv or radio. It was completely quiet and she wasn't asleep. I had to almost yell for her to hear what I was saying.

The next day I called the school and asked her teacher if she noticed anything. Her teacher naturally talks loud, but she noticed that my daughter has been speaking a lot softer lately. I took her to urgent care that night and they told me that her eardrums were raised and that maybe she was congested. They told me to give her Benadryl and Nasonex. A couple of days later I took her to her Pediatrician. They gave her a hearing test and she couldn't hear any of the tones. Her Pediatrician said that it could possibly be her hayfever acting up. She said the eardrums are raised, but otherwise there wasn't anything else in there. She didn't see any fluid or excess wax or cotton. She said stop the Benadryl because it'll make her drowsy. Instead she gave her Nasonex, Clariten and Singulair. I'm supposed to take her back in 3 weeks and if there isn't any improvement she's going to refer her to a specialist.

Has anyone else ever dealt with this?

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P.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'd take her to an ENT or the specialist the dr is thinking about (allergist) immediately and not wait one more day. It's apparent there's something wrong. What's the point of waiting? Does her speech seem to be affected? Hearing doesn't just STOP. It can diminish from flu or allerigies, but not just stop. Good luck, but be proactive.

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C.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,
I've actually , just recently dealt with this in a similiar manner. My daughter, age 7, said she "couldn't hear". She said "what?" a lot and turned up the t.v. very loud. I thought it was a behavioral thing. She's doing well in school as well. So , after hearing her say I can't hear so many times I took her into the peds office . They found a slight hearing loss. I immediately asked for a referral to an ENT, because she has a history or ear infections, etc. They treated her with antibiotics because they saw fluid in the ears, WHICH THE PEDIATRICIAN DID NOT SEE. They consider her to have allergies and she is taking singulair as well. She will get frequent check ups for the fluid/hearing loss as well. I suggest follow up with an ENT. Pediatricians do their best but don't always suggest further evaluation. Hope that helps!!

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C.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear Kraen,
I cant add much to your daghters hearing situation, other than reasurance. My 7 year has had both hearing and vision changes within a few weeks of positive results from the pediatrician. Her vision sitution remains unresolved, but her hearing loss was the result of high wax build up. I know that is not the case with your daughter but hopefully she will respond to the allergy prognosis. Did they explain why her eardrums are raised?
Hope she recovers her hearing soon.

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L.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Get her eyesight checked. Sometimes there's a correlation between hearing loss and needing to wear prescription glasses.

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P.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi K.,
I am not sure if the diagnosis is alergies or not. My alergies have been severe since I was little. I was tired of popping Sudafed constantly - so a friend shared some eucalyptus oil and it has helped me so much. I can actually breathe again!! And thru my nose (which was unheard of.) It has helped my head feel less stuffy too. You can buy eucalyptus oil at the specialty Super Markets (Trader Joes.) Difuse it in a bowl of water and put your head over it. Then cover the back of your head with a towel. If you have a humidifier you can also diffuse the oil in that.
Also... I saw that you are struggling to find what you want to do with your life in your description. I would love to talk to you about what I do. I work from home and have four boys four and under. I think you might like what I do - so email me if you want more info: [email protected]____.com luck,
P.

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear K.,

I am a teacher and musician/composer with allergies to certain pollens and molds. A few years ago I had allergy tests at Kaiser and they found that I was allergic to Bermuda Grass, Rye Grass, and black and green molds.

Your daughter's issues could be from allergy or sinus issues. A doctor can check for sinus issues by pressing on certain parts of her face, I'm not sure which, but a doctor once checked me that way and because I said it hurt the doctor diagnosed it as sinus.

Don't give your 7 year-old the medication Claritin for any length of time. I don't know what Singulair is but most of that stuff will foster drug dependencies later in life.

A humidifier or steam in the bedroom at night is good, and so is aromatherapy with eucalyptus oil. A very effective homeopathic remedy for allergies and sinus is fresh organic ginger root, which eradicated my allergies; my allergies had been so awful that I had to go around with my face in a handkerchief all day and night a few years ago. Grate the ginger into tea and foods such as pasta or gingerbread if your daughter won't eat it raw.

Cayenne is also good though it might be too hot for a seven year-old.

Also, does your daughter eat much sugar? Sugar is awful for kids, if they eat it they will be addicted to it for the rest of life. Sugar weakens immune resistance to allergies.

On the other hand, if the problem is pollens, you could feed your daughter small amounts of locally produced honey. This increases immune resistance to pollen allergies.

If mold allergies are the issue, the ginger will do a lot to help. Believe it or not, years ago my aunt made a tincture of the dust and mold in her house with the help of a homeopath, and by putting drops of it into food it eventually helped minimize her allergies.

NEVER go for allergy shots! They prescribed them for me at Kaiser, but I didn't take them because I learned that they weaken your immune system and may cause osteoporosis in later life.

Hope this will help.

Best,
C. H

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with the advice of going to a specialist immediately. This is not a little hearing loss, it's a lot. I have had allergies since I was a child. My sinuses are so messed up I'm in excruciating pain every time I fly. But my hearing has never been effected by my allergies. My husband also has allergies, pretty severe ones, and he also has never had his hearing effected.

What would it hurt to take her to the doctor now? If it's something else and it could get worse, you may be able to halt it in its tracks.

Good luck!
B.

J.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi K.. As a mom, I understand your worries and concerns, as we notice every detail and every change in our children. As a holistic practitioner I'd say that this is common. You have to look at all the pieces of the puzzle/body and ask yourself the following and more: has anything else changed, such as has your child been eliminating less frequently?, had recent or many ear infections? low back pain? had a traumatic fall to the tailbone, head or low back/spine?' All of these play a major role in the child's health and well being. At our facility we look at all of these traumas, in addition to scars and other 'procedures' and call them Interference Fields (IF). When there is an IF from the head to the pubic bone (anywhere along that line) then anything can happen, irregular or odd or even something medically 'normal'. We do topical treatments such as castor oil packs, or other, to the IF's along with internal nutritional balancing. We use all natural products that are free of pesticides and toxic fillers.

We do hands on non-invasive testing for both allergy and nutritional imbalances, along with testing for IF traumas. We work with so many kids in the south bay whose parents are so thankful, as the programs and remedies work rather quickly.

Coming from a family of half deaf people, I know how touchy and scary the ear subject is. In Chinese Medicine the ears are a direct representation of the kidneys... so before digging further and possibly surgery, I'd look to the natural remedies and see what you find.

Whatever you decide, good luck and I hope your child's hearing improves. :)

Namaste,
J. Eltman, MPH, RD
Preventive & Therapeutic Holistic Health
www.CreativeNutrition.com
1.877.5.EATWELL
Author: The NO DIET Diet: Healthy Meals in 5 Minutes

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T.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm not sure if this is the same, but here is my experience: My son experienced recurring ear infections since birth (a breast fed baby...food allergies too...go figure.) My son too,always asked "what?" and did not speak much at all. When he did, he sounded like a deaf person talking. After 2 years, we went to an ENT. All hearing tests were normal. However, after having ear tubes inserted, the ENT said that behind his eardrum was so much fluid with a glue like consistency. He said "no wonder he is having speech difficulties, he's been hearing as though he was under water for the first 3 years of his life." The fluid wasnt evident until after the surgery. Much improvement since the surgery (he is 6 now.)
Good Luck.

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C.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Molds. Check house for molds. Kids are super duper sensitive. Had a kid that I baby sat for awhile lose 1/2 of his hearing at 8 years old. Parents tested house their were renting on their own dollar and house became condemned by county health officers for it's mold levels.

Lots of naturopathic remedies that can help, but first find out if it's mold.

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think I would push to see the specialist now, don't let the doctor put you off. Her hearing isn't something to mess around with.

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