Two weeks later, Tyler came back in for his regularly scheduled checkup. He was all better, Julie told me, except for one thing. "I have to repeat things a few times before he understands what I'm saying to him," she said, her voice again betraying some slight anxiety.
"Well, ear infections, treated or not, can decrease hearing for a month or two because of lingering fluid behind the eardrums," I told her. "But it's extraordinarily rare for a routine ear infection like Tyler's to cause permanent hearing loss. If fluid persists for three months or if you notice a delay in language development, then we'll check his hearing."
But as we watched Tyler opening and closing every drawer in the office, I added, "He's also at the age when he may start to ignore what you say on purpose."
"Hey, Tyler, want a lollipop?" I asked. That got his attention immediately.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.
Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the September 2004 issue of Child magazine.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.