Many experts have theorized that hearing impairment in early childhood -- between the ages of 1 and 4 years -- might slow the acquisition of language skills. However, researchers found that delaying surgery for chronic middle ear infection ('glue ear') does not lead to permanent impairment of a child's language and speech development.
They found no detrimental effect on learning following a 9-month period of 'watchful waiting' prior to ear surgery. In fact, the authors believe this type of delay may allow for resolution of ear infection, permitting children (to) avoid the distress of hospital admission and surgery.
Chronic middle ear infection remains the most common cause of hearing loss in childhood. Ventilation-tube ('grommet') surgeries permit a temporary opening of the ear channel and a restoration of hearing. These procedures are currently the most common form of elective surgeries in young children.
The Lancet March 20, 1999;353:960-963.
COMMENT: Puncturing holes in children’s ears is one of the most barbaric and unnecessary procedures we do in modern medicine. It ranks right up there with pulling out one million gallbladders every year because of ignorance of basic physiology. Nearly anyone who has studied natural medicine knows that food allergies are the NUMBER ONE reason why kids develop recurrent ear infections.
It is good to see the hard research that waiting with a child who has fluid in their ear does not seem to alter speech development. The best that the child could hope for is that during their "watchful waiting" period their parents will finally learn that allergies are causing their ear problems. Eliminating milk will resolve about half of those with this problem. Eliminating sugar, all fluids but water, wheat and corn will eliminate most of the rest.