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Communication Disorders
Communication Disorders


What is an ear infection and what can I do to treat it?

An ear infection occurs when mucus or fluid is trapped behind the eardrum because of a blocked Eustachian Tube (ET) (tiny tube in the middle ear space that connects the middle ear with the back of the throat).  This keeps the tube from opening and closing properly, which is needed to drain and ventilate the middle ear space (ear space behind the eardrum before the cochlea) properly.  This fluid can fill up and become infected.  Ear infections are treated by Family Physicians, Paediatricians or Otolaryngologists, not Audiologists.

For best information on Ear Infections see AboutKids Health Ear Infections (Otitis Media).

What should parents know about FM systems?

A Frequency Modulation (FM) System is an assistive listening device that transmits speech from the speaker to the listener.  Speech is transmitted via radio waves. A common example where an FM system is often used is in the classroom.  The teacher wears the FM transmitter and the student wears the FM receiver (either attached to the hearing aid or coupled to the student's ear).  This ensures speech from the teacher reaches the student with minimal effort, clear signal and above any background noise.  

In most cases, the school board will provide the FM system for the child, therefore the school board will assess candidacy, adjust the system to meet the child's hearing levels and service the system when necessary.  The child's family and teacher can work with the school board Audiologist or Hearing Itinerant Teacher to set up the system and ensure success.

What is the difference between an Audiologist and Otolaryngologist?

Audiologists assess hearing, prescribe and fit hearing aids and other assistive listening devices and provide training for their use.  Some audiologists also dispense hearing aids.  Audiologists are committed to the prevention of hearing loss through hearing conservation programs and public awareness initiatives.  

Otolaryngologists is a physician specialized in diagnosing and treating diseases of the head and neck, especially those involving the ears, nose and throat (ENT).  Also called an ENT. 

When should  a child not wear their Hearing Aid(s) or Cochlear Implant?

A child should be wearing their hearing device all the time EXCEPT for "bed and bath" time.  These are electronic devices that will be damaged if submerged in water (this includes swimming).

Although sound will not harm the child when they are sleeping, the concern is with younger children and the dangers that may arise due to accidentally ingesting the battery in an unsupervised sleep environment. Some older children choose to sleep with their device.