Speech Therapy: My Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

                                           Source: blogs.webmd.com via Laura on Pinterest

The longer I live in Central Texas, the worse my allergies seem to get despite daily Flonase. My ears have been stopped up for a while, but the left one was really bad this morning, so I buckled under and saw the physician assistant. He immediately asked me about Q-tip use and allergies, looked in my ears, and diagnosed me with Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.

My First Thought - Sympathy for My Students with Ear Infections - I'm a little clogged up and slightly dizzy, but I don't have pain like many of my students. I do find myself turning my right ear to my family to listen, and I've turned up the volume on the Olympics. My poor students with ear problems are often in much more pain. No wonder they end up with speech/language problems! It does take effort to listen.

My Second Thought - Take Care of Yourself: It was a little embarrassing to admit that I'm an SLP with clogged ears. I kept thinking the feeling would go away. Now, I'm hoping the oral steroids (darn, there go my Olympic chances!) will take care of everything before I go back to work.

I've also got to to back to using Q-tips in just my outer ear. I remember when my grandmother had ear problems because she kept using swabs. She said she just wanted the feeling to go away, and I told her the old saying, "Don't put anything in your ear that's smaller than your elbow". Well, looks like I forgot that somewhere along the way!

My Third Thought - I Don't Retain What I Don't Use - my 16-year-old son peppered me with questions about why I was feeling dizzy and did the U.S. gymnasts have bigger Eustachian tubes and therefore better balance, and why is balance housed in the ear? I had to look some things up. It's been 19 years since I was in grad school, and while I can discuss ear infections in general terms, my son made me realize how much knowledge I had lost.

I was thinking about clogged ears as just a pesky thing that wouldn't go away. I hope I now have greater sympathy for my students and put more thought into what may have caused their speech/language problems.

What about you? Have you had any learning experiences this summer - intentional or not?

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