Vincent Cumberworth BSc FRCS Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon
Clementine Churchill Hospital Sudbury Hill Harrow Middlesex HA1 3RX
Private Secretary: Tel: 020 8872 3866 Fax: 0208872 3861

Information is supplied only upon the condition that the viewer will make their own determination as to the suitability of the information for its purposes prior to use.  There will be no responsibility for information that is misused or misinterpreted and the information should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a health care professional.  It is not possible to answer questions regarding individual cases or to enter into individual correspondence.

Hearing Problems in Childhood

Severe hearing losses are usually diagnosed in early infancy.

The school test is designed to detect any other hearing problem which may affect a child’s education.

Below are some reasons why a child may fail a hearing test in school: –

  • Shyness, lack of concentration or distraction by other children during the test
  • Cold, or ear infection, prior to or at the time of the test
  • Thick hard wax, which is blocking the ear canal
  • Fluid in the middle ear

This problem is very common in children as it often follows a cold and usually resolves without treatment.   When it does recur, it can cause the hearing to fluctuate; sometimes the fluid can thicken and become ‘glue like’.  It is then often referred to as ‘glue ear’ – now usually termed “Otitis Media with Effusion” (OME).  A child with glue ear often finds it difficult to listen or concentrate on classroom activities.