PUPILS accused of being disruptive may simply be suffering from a hearing problem, according to a Leamington doctor.
Speaking before next month’s Deaf Awareness Week, Dr Nick Tait said that often children thought to have been troublemakers could merely have been unable to hear properly in lessons.
Poor hearing is a common condition that can go undetected in children and this can seriously impair their academic chances, said Dr Tait, who divides his time between his Leamington NHS surgery and TFJ Private GP Services, a private medical group of NHS doctors based at the nearby Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital.
He added one in five children will have suffered glue ear by the time they are two, and eight in ten will have had the ailment at least once by the time they are ten.
Dr Tait told The Observer: “There is a lot of understandable parental anxiety about what is a common condition, a chronic ailment affecting the middle ear where there is a build-up of fluid stopping the ear from functioning properly.”
“Typical signs of poor hearing are the child getting cross because they can’t hear, not listening at school and getting bored and then disruptive, resulting in poor academic performance , struggling in conversation and wanting the TV volume turned up. Physical signs can be earache or a discharge.
“The situation can be resolved by improving the congested airways and an ENT specialist will often recommend grommets, a tube over the ear drum which keeps it permanently open and releases pressure.”