By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
Ear Infections and Speech/Language Development
While we are stuck in what seems like “The Winter That Will Not End” I find myself still dealing with coughs, colds and illness in my daughter and the children I work with. One thing that I have seen a lot of this year is ear infections. As a speech-language pathologist I am always concerned about children with recurrent ear infections or a history of ear infections/middle ear fluid. Below I’ll explain a little more about what ear infections are and how they impact speech/language development.
What are ear infections?
Ear infections happen when the middle ear becomes infected/inflamed due to fluid. Fluid may also be present in the ear without an infection.
How can ear infections/fluid impact my child’s hearing?
When an ear is infected/fluid is present in the ear it can make the child feel like he/she is hearing under water. Typically, when the infection goes away, the child’s hearing will return to normal. When fluid is present in the ear without an infection, the child’s hearing may be impacted the entire time fluid is present. Also, if ear infections occur repeatedly in children, their hearing may become permanently damaged.
How can ear infections/fluid impact my child’s speech/language development?
While a child has an ear infection/fluid that results in temporary hearing loss they may miss out on information that is important for speech and language development.
What should I do if I am concerned?
Hopefully this post gives you some ideas for how to proceed if you have been dealing with recurrent ear infections/fluid in your child during this long, seemingly-endless winter!
Golden Speech Therapy
Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
Cape Cod Moms