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Collingswood, NJ
A 35-year-old female asked:

How likely can fluid in his ears cause speech/language delays? my son is almost 3 he failed hearing test in the ped's office (the one they use on newborns) due to fluid in his ears. is this most likely the cause of his delays? or can the fluid go away o

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Wolfe
Head & Neck Surgery 24 years experience
Yes, : Yes, poor hearing can cause speech and communication delays. Fluid in the middle ears (behind the ear drum, is common after a cold or other respiratory tract infection. It should go away soon after the infection resolves. It can last longer--80% goes away in the first 2 months, 90% in 3 months. If fluid lasts longer than 2-3 months, then we would recommend ear tubes. They would equalize the pressure in the middle ear so the fluid does not accumulate and hearing can normalize. Kids will often "catch-up" after they are hearing better. If the fluid persists, then i would recommend seeing an otolaryngolgist (ent). Some doctors will give an antibiotic empirically to give every chance possible to resolve the fluid (i think a recent paper noted that 50% will get better) before making the commitment to going to the or.
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Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 51 years experience
At 3 a chilld with Expressive or Receptive & Expressive Developmental Language Disorder from any cause should also be assessed by the local school district's Child Find Team for eligibility for Early Childhood Special Education Services. DLD confers a high risk of langiage-based learning disabilities at school age. Other causes should be considered if DLD preceded or. persists after CHL resolves
Sep 25, 2014
Dr. Ahmet Aybar
Pediatrics 32 years experience
Middle ear effusion: Persistent middle ear effusion is usually result of recurrent ear infections, adenoids enlargement which may certainly interfere with hearing accuracy and expressive language if not treated. Sometimes antihistamines are helpful however I believe you need to see an ENT who can check hearing at depth in your toddler and come up with a teatment plan one of which may include ear tubes
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 51 years experience
Temporary Conductive: Hearing Loss from middle ear disease, can cause Developmental Receptive & Expressive Language Disorder & Developmental Articulation Disorder while it exists. If DLD & DAD began before CHL occurred or persists after the CHL resolves, a neurodevelopmental cause is more likely. Call Child Find of your school district for assessment of his eligibility for Early Childhood Special Education services.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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