2 years old
Middle ear infections
Twin sons of West Coast Eagles player Liam Ryan, Lenix and Liam Jr, are lucky boys. Not only are they happy, healthy, busy babies, with great footy-playing genes; they have been getting their ears checked by Telethon Kids researchers for signs of middle ear infections from two months of age.
It was a very different story for big sister River, who suffered multiple ear infections and is among the 50 per cent of Aboriginal children affected by painful ear infections and hearing loss. Many of these kids spend over two years on a waitlist for specialist treatment, and the long-term effects caused by this lengthy delay last a lifetime. When you can’t hear, it affects learning, so kids face issues with language, behavioural and educational development, as well as poor mental health outcomes and job prospects in adulthood.
The good news is this hearing loss can be prevented, and our researchers at Telethon Kids are part of a big team working to do just that. By introducing telehealth programs, cutting waitlists down to only ten days and providing kids with access to grommet surgery, we can ensure that ear infections don’t prevent kids from receiving the best possible start in life.
Learn more about our research into ear health.