Our oldest son had a few issues when he was younger. He was frustrated and unhappy 80% of the time and we definitely knew something was wrong with his hearing, he also had trouble sleeping through the night. I watched him while he slept a number of times, you could hear his snoring from the other side of the house. I often noticed moments where he stopped breathing and suddenly wake up gasping for air – a common sleep apnea symptom but surely not normal in a 2 year old boy?
Every GP we saw said our boy was fine or his condition was too mild to worry about. Slight hearing loss would not affect his learning capacity and the sleeping issues were quite common in early childhood. Every time we talked to him, ET would often respond with “Uhh?” and we soon came to realise he wasn’t just being ignorant, his hearing was gradually becoming worse.
My Wife was full-time at home during this period and was having an extremely difficult time with his moods and tantrums. He was a naughty boy – not just the mischievous normal 2 year old behaviour, you could see his frustration. He would have good days where he was beautiful and loving and would learn a significant amount but most of the time he was uncontrollable and generally not a happy lad. The strange thing was the good days were usually followed by a cold or ear infection (he had a lot of ear infections), possibly due to a heightened immune system.
After pleading with our local Doctor we finally had him booked into a Hearing Test who instantly referred us to an Eyes, Nose and Throat specialist.
ET had enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids and fluid had built up in his ears. One ear was 80% deaf due to a significant amount of fluid and this was the cause of the many ear infections ET had in his first two years. Enlarged Adenoids and Tonsils can cause kids and adults alike to find it difficult to breath through the nose and some become mouth breathers as it is just easier breathing this way. Snoring is a common side effect and also the cause of the “Sleep Apnea” pauses in breathing while our son was sleeping.
The Specialist booked us into a local Hospital for an Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy which was luckily moved forward 2 months due to an available appointment time. Both the Wife and I were extremely nervous with taking our little boy to get such an operation but we are so glad we did.
The first two weeks after the operation were difficult, mostly due to pain management and trying to get a 2.5 year old to take panadol but the change in ET has been unbelievable. His learning, speech and personality has advanced so much since, we just wish we had of done this earlier.
More info on Tonsils and Adenoids can be found Here.