Sarah O’Hearn of Maclean has bounced back after suffering from glue ear.
Sarah O’Hearn of Maclean has bounced back after suffering from glue ear. Adam Hourigan

Keep an ear to the ground for otitis

MATERNAL instinct kicked in for Carolyn O'Hearn when she noticed her daughter Sarah displaying symptoms that most people would attribute to the 'flu.

The Maclean mother of three said the ordeal began when Sarah, now six, was about three years old.

"She had a cold and a fever and a runny nose," Ms O'Hearn said.

"She was normally healthy but physically and emotionally she was more tired and irritable."

Months later, Sarah was diagnosed with otitis media, otherwise known as glue ear. The condition can result in reduced hearing and can lead to developmental and learning issues.

Ms O'Hearn picked up on Sarah's condition early.

"I would drop something across the room from Sarah and she wouldn't hear it," Ms O'Hearn said.

"I could see her lip-reading whenever someone spoke to her.

"I would clap my hands near her and look for a response."

Though some dismissed Sarah's symptoms as being associated with a head cold, Ms O'Hearn was certain it was more serious.

"I stuck to my guns. I think Sarah had just learnt to adapt to it," she said.

A combination of diet, exercises, medication and monitoring by health professionals has helped Sarah recover from the complaint she suffered for nearly three years.

"We were just trying everything," Ms O'Hearn said.



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