A YOUNG swimmer is hoping to make more of a splash in competitions thanks to a successful operation on his ear.
Edward Crossley, aged nine, had been plagued by ear infections and loss of hearing since aged three and the problem was having a detrimental effect on his school work and swimming.
It was thought the youngster, of Station Road, Claverdon, might have a case of “selective hearing”, said his mum Kerry O’Connor, but she explained: “Given the fact he would move closer and closer to teachers at school, and he always turned the TV up, we suspected there was more to it.
“The ear infections and the fact he was drooling led me to take him for further investigations, which showed he’d benefit from having his adenoids and tonsils removed and grommets inserted into his ears.
“This worked for a while but as he got older the ear infections returned and the same problems were back.”
She took Edward to the Spire Parkway Hospital, in Solihull, where Matthew Trotter, an ear, nose and throat specialist, saw that the youngster was suffering from what is known as glue ear, which can affect many children by the age of ten.
Mr Trotter said: “Glue ear occurs in children when there is a build-up of fluid inside the middle ear preventing the little bones of hearing from transmitting the sound to the inner ear.
“This sometimes occurs following a cold, and since the tubes that would normally help air circulate through the middle ear become blocked as they are naturally narrow in children, the fluid can build up and cause infection and inflammation.
“If not diagnosed it can cause delay in development of speech and language and affect academic development.
“In some cases the child can be labelled as troublesome as the frustration of not being able to hear can make them disruptive.
“The surgical treatment is uncomplicated and effective – a grommet looks like a tiny cotton reel which allows air flow into the ear and lets fluid effectively drain.
“It can make a significant difference for children.
“Since Edward swims competitively, his continual ear problems were holding him back, but the treatment means that with the right ear protection when swimming, he can carry on as normal.”
Edward goes to school in Solihull and mum, aged 45, who runs the Seafield Swimmers school and also has two younger children, is now able to enjoy TV with Edward without the sound on full volume.
She added: “Edward is happiest when he’s in water and we’re hoping he might be our future Olympian.”