Question Regarding Allergies and Development:

Updated on August 01, 2010
J.B. asks from Denver, CO
11 answers

My daughter is nearly 2.5 years old. She has a speech delay and sees a therapist once a week. Because she has chronic ear infections (7 since Novemeber 09) we are getting her tubes sometime in August. My husband is a retail manager at a vision/eye glass place. He spoke with a lady the other day who told him her son had experienced a similar situation and that tubes alone did not resolve his delay. She said, it turned out he was allergic to their cats. Has anyone out there ever heard of an allergy to cats contributing to a speech delay and/or chronic ear infections???

If you've heard of the cat allergy contributing to delay/infections, do I see an allergist?? What do I do???

*added* She has a HUGE receptive vocubulary and is cognitively very advanced, just not talking clearly. Someone on my question about tubes had said that it's possible she can hear perfect (audiology test was clear), but can't hear herself clearly (like pressure on the drums).

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answers from Denver on

Could simply be that her ear infections/fluid are blocking her ability to hear clearly... tubes will help immensely. I dont' think the allergies are the issue - they may lead to more infections and blockage of hearing which can lead to speech issues, but not allergies alone. Also, many kids don't pronouce words well at this age. The tubes are a great thing to do with this many infections - good for you for getting them done.

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answers from Dallas on

Actually I've learned through my sister that a lot of the time ear infections are related to food allergies. I recommend getting in touch with a doctor that is affiliated with Immuno Laboratories, as their food allergy tests are guaranteed and more consistent then other labs. My nieces were getting ear infections and did this test. It resolved the issue for them both. I've also did the food allergy test and found that my diagnosis of colitis was actually food allergies...its worth trying before any procedure is actually done....

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi J.,

We've talked about detoxing and that can help. Also look into upper cervical chiropractic as well. My family goes to the largest pediatric chiropractic clinic in the state of GA and I have seen first hand the progress that has been made with issues of this kind. We were also able to dodge getting tubes for my oldest. (The ear infections also led to seizures as well.) After we began chiropractic care, she never had another ear infection.

Google pictures of tubes online and take a look. After the tubes are removed, they leave tremendous scar tissue that can affect her later in life.
Make sure this is exactly what you want to do before you proceed.

Take care!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Allergies can cause all types of delays--not just to cats, but any environmental or food allergy. It can also cause ear infections. Yes, I would get your child tested for allergies before doing any type of tube, etc. Treat the problem, not the symptom.

Both my kids are very sensitive to their environments and I found that blood testing wasn't accurate enough. There is a doctor off of I-25 and Colorado Blvd that I swear saved my older son's health because he has a diagnostic method that is more accurate and sensitive than typical blood testing. He is an alternative doc--chiropractor and acupuncturist. We were able to solve all my son's severe health problems naturally and with no side effects from medications. I've sent at least 2 dozen people to him, all with stellar results. Let me know if you'd like his information.
Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

In agreement with another mom, I would investigate food allergies too. Allergies can cause inflammation (which causes its own set of problems).

An integrative doctor explained it to me this way: allergies are like a teapot of boiling water - it's fine until there is too much water (i.e., allergens) - then you notice a problem (when it boils over).

It may be that the cats are a problem when you ADD them to other allergies (food). On the other hand they be the main source of the problem.

Some people try elimination diets to see if they can pinpoint problem foods.

Good luck.

PS: I'm not a doctor or health care provider so you'll need to research and seek your own advice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

If you have cats, it's definitely worth checking into. The allergist will tell you to get rid of the cats, most likely, but may just start her on allergy medicine. It definitely can be a factor. My son had allergy related hearing loss caused by ear infections which caused a speech delay. It's worth taking care of the bottom issue and really dealing with it, not just treating the symptoms. You may be able to avoid surgery all together. We did, and just by removing him from the allergens and then giving him allergy medicine for the rest. GL!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I have allergies to pollen, trees, and grass. If I don't treat the symptoms early(itchy eyes, sore throat, sneezing), then it will turn into something worse like a sinus, ear, or tonsil infection. Having a sore throat is probably like having an open cut- it's easier for the germs to sneak in.
My allergist won't test kids until age 5, but I started noticing before that whenever I was having a bad allergy day, my son would have the same symptoms. I was worried about giving him medicines because I was afraid it would affect his growth. But the pediatrician said go ahead and try the allergy meds, because untreated allergies would be even worse.

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answers from Fort Collins on

My sister had hearing and speech problems due to a cat allergy. She would try to talk, but I was the only one that knew what she was saying and I would translate for her. She was 1-2 years old when this was happening and I was 3-4 yo. We did not know what the cause was until our cat happened to be hit by a car and her speech and hearing both improved. I wish I had more details to share with you....but we were so young when this happened and my mom passed away several years ago. She also had several ear infections and drs suggested tubes. She never got tubes but did have her tonsils and adinoids (sp?) removed when she was a little older.

I would get rid of the cat before I put tubes in her ears. It may not be necessary. Good luck!


answers from Dover on

Allergies can cause ear infections. Chronic ear infections can cause hearing problems which can lead to speak problems. Talk to your doctor, you may want to get your daughter tested for allergies and try something an alternative solution to resolving the ear infections.

Toxins in your home (everyday products have toxic ingredients) causing air quality and allergy problems too. I can help you with that if you are interested...let me know if you want more info.


answers from Austin on

My daughter was allergic to cows milk, which made her congested and gave her chronic sinus infections and ear infections. Of course, we didn't know all of her illness was due to milk until she was 18 months old. Getting her ear tubes at 14 months didn't end the infections... So, my point is, if she has an undiagnosed allergy (food or environmental), yes it could impact her ear health, which inturn could adversely affect her hearing and thus speech.

Now, I will add that, even though the tubes didn't solve the chronic sinus infection problem, the congestion was causing hearing issues at her pre-ear tube surgery hearing test. The tubes did help alleviate any hearing and speech concerns. Tubes werent a silver bullet cure, but there were other benefits.



answers from Columbus on

Unless the hearing is affected, then the tubes will probably not help her with her speech issue. If articulation is a problem, that could be an oral motor issue or motor planning issue and some kids with delays are more prone to allergies, but there is not a causal relationship (though you will probably get a lot of people who will tell you that there is.) Allergies can cause inflamation and drainage which can cause secondary infection that can spread to the ears too, but again, an allergy cannot cause a speech imparment, especially an articulation disorder which is a neurologicaly based motor function.

Stay in speech therapy and if you see any fine or gross motor isses or difficulty with sensory or tactile experiences or any issue understanding multi step sequencing, then see an Occupational Therapist sooner rather than later.


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