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Questions about Grommets
lots of questions!

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7 replies to this topic

#1 noi'mnot

Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:40 AM

Hi all,

After taking my 26 month old to the audiologist this week, it turns out that she has mild hearing loss following some pretty bad ear infections (including 2 ruptured eardrums) over the winter. When they tested her cochlear that was fine, they said it's because there is still fluid in the middle ear. So apparently the hearing loss should be completely reversible, the audiologist told me that the most likely thing that will happen next is that she'll need grommets. Her speech is actually extraordinarily good, particularly considering that she has mild hearing loss - she is well above her peers with verbal communication, which is great (conversation on par with 3-4 year olds). But the poor little thing must be having some troubles in life if she can't hear some things that well. sad.gif

I've made an appointment with the GP to get the referral and discuss this, but really wanted to know what people can tell me from their experiences?

What is the procedure like? How long does it take? What is the recovery time? Do they experience pain after the surgery?

We don't have PHI and don't mind paying out of pocket for private treatment if necessary. What is the waitlist like in the public system (Melbourne)? What kind of costs would we expect in private (ballpark, of course)? We don't mind what it costs, but would like to be able to prepare.

Also, does anybody have a great ENT that they could recommend to us in Melbourne?

All stories, experience, recommendations, advice, etc welcome. Thanks so much in advance.

#2 Carmen02

Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE (noi'mnot @ 16/11/2012, 05:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've made an appointment with the GP to get the referral and discuss this, but really wanted to know what people can tell me from their experiences?

What is the procedure like? How long does it take? What is the recovery time? Do they experience pain after the surgery?

We don't have PHI and don't mind paying out of pocket for private treatment if necessary. What is the waitlist like in the public system (Melbourne)? What kind of costs would we expect in private (ballpark, of course)? We don't mind what it costs, but would like to be able to prepare.

Also, does anybody have a great ENT that they could recommend to us in Melbourne?

All stories, experience, recommendations, advice, etc welcome. Thanks so much in advance.

my 10yr old has had 9 sets shes about to have another, my middle child has had 3 sets and my 2yr old just had his first set a couple weeks ago. It is a very easy op for them very quick around 30mins and basically they dont need any recovery but a quiet day for the rest of the day because they have been through an op. my children have never needed pain relief at all after it.

Im in melb and my youngest had to wait 13mths on the public wait list, DD last year had to wait 12mths (thankfully our PHI has kicked in now!) i think private costs could be around a few thousand but thats only a guess. I fully recommed getting grommets as fast as you can (we couldnt afford to pay out of pocket!) its great her speech is fine!! All you have to remember after grommets you cant get their ears wet!! (i know some specialists have different views on that too) I have a fantastic ENT in the clayton area if you are near there i can PM you the details original.gif goodluck

#3 Kreme

Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

My daughter has had 2 sets of grommets - at 16 mths and then at age 5. DS had his first set at 3.5 and second set at 4.5. Both have also had their adenoids shaved down - DD with second grommets and DS with the first set.
The actual op was completely straightforward and there was no pain afterwards from the grommets. DS had his second op a few months ago and he had the op at around 8am and was home zooming around on his scooter before midday.
The anaesthetic is generally the only issue. DS is very unusual because he wakes up smiling and happy. Most kids are pretty upset and disoriented when they come around but it passes fairly quickly.
The downside is that you can need repeat procedures. DD is now 6 and we are waiting to see what happens once her remaining grommet falls out. DS had multiple ear infections earlier this year but no problems at all since he got his grommets in early July. I won't be surprised if he needs a 3rd set eventually.
My mum has permanent hearing loss from multiple ear infections and perforations when she was a kid and I was on antibiotics continually for almost 3 years. I'm grateful my kids have better treatment available to them.
ETA: sorry forgot to mention we have PHI (thankfully) but I think otherwise it's about $5000 to go private (I'm in Sydney). The waiting list is a year long for public treatment and if I didn't have to I would prefer not to wait that long because their hearing is so important at that age.

Edited by kreme, 16 November 2012 - 11:24 AM.

#4 noi'mnot

Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

Carmen02 - Thanks, but Clayton is a bit far for us (we're in the Northern burbs).

Thanks for the replies both of you, I really appreciate your stories.

We're lucky that we can pay the upfront fee, as we really don't want to wait and risk any affects to her development, even though it doesn't seem to be impacting her too much right now. I'm glad that the procedure doesn't have a lot of recovery involved, and that it's quite straightforward. I am concerned about her having to have them again later on, that would really suck, but of course it wouldn't suck as much as permanent hearing loss.

Again, I'm very grateful for your stories, and welcome any more that people have - I'm already starting to feel reassured! original.gif

#5 librablonde

Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

My DD got them when she was 3yo and I am still amazed that it was such an easy process. The operation took about 20 mins, she had a GA and woke up easily all smiling and totally fine. I was shocked at how cruisey she seemed about it all. She was fine afterwards and has been fine since with no ear infections or issues of any kind. She got her grommets in Feb this year.

#6 Life'sJuggle

Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

I was also nervous for my 4  yo daughter when she needed the surgery (had adenoids done at the same time) but it was a complete anti-climax.  One dose of panadol after the surgery and then nothing else required.  The annoyance was the ear plugs for the following year or more.
Our ENT was good, Theo Sdralis who has rooms in Doncaster and somewhere else (? Cranbourne).  You see him for follow-up for some time afterward so good to get one not too far from home.
Can't recall out of pocket expenses, it was a few years ago.
Good luck with it!

Edited by kdzf, 16 November 2012 - 12:57 PM.

#7 Bwok~Bwok

Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:52 PM

What is the procedure like? How long does it take? What is the recovery time? Do they experience pain after the surgery?

I'm an adult with my 3rd set of grommets in, in under 2 years. I had them because I had ETD after jaw surgery and suffered hearing loss.

The procedure is really simple. I woke up with a little bit of discomfort - not painful - like the start of an ear infection, nothing that a little bit of panadol couldn't fix

One thing I do suggest to you - and those who have little ones that are about to have grommets - it takes about 2 weeks for your hearing to adjust to noises. It can also be uncomfortable with some noises as well. For me really 'low' noises eg Men's voices, buses going past - made me want to run away from the noise. Especially the first couple of days after the surgery - so try to avoid loud noises for a little bit as it does give you a headache.

So just be aware that your little one may be out of sorts whilst their hearing is adjusting.  You might even notice the noises that are irritating them.

Edited by Bwok~Bwok, 16 November 2012 - 01:52 PM.

#8 Isolabella

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

Andrew Hayes is our ENT.

dS2 had grommets put in just before his third birthday. Unfortunately even with grommets it was not until after he was 4 that we got a normal hearing test result.

Operation with adenoids out was straight forward. 2.30 pm op. screaming when he came out of anaesthetic but luckily DH realised it was not a pain cry and so told them not to give DS2 painkillers and whipped out his iPod and DS2 quickly quiet ended.

We were home by 5.30pm with ds2 spearing normal dinner and was happy next morning and went to daycare as usual. Never gave him any painkillers.

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