Case Study: Hearing Loss Misdiagnosed as Glue Ear

Compensation: £12,500

Hilary, 50 years old, Swindon

This case study outlines how JMW helped a woman to claim £12,500 compensation after doctors failed to refer her for a scan at an early stage which resulted in the progression of painful symptoms that could have been easily avoided.

If you are looking for information on how JMW can help you to make a claim yourself you can go directly to our hearing loss claims page here.

Hilary went to her GP with a symptoms of a blocked sensation and impaired hearing in both her ears. Both her ear drums were noted to be sucked in, particularly on the left side and polyps were described as being present in the nose. A diagnosis of "glue ear" was made and a steroid nasal spray prescribed.

She had three more visits to her GP as the nasal symptoms persisted but in addition the hearing in the left ear deteriorated further. Hilary was now weary of the persistence of the problems and requested specialist referral which was made to a Consultant ENT Surgeon.

Failure to refer for a scan

Hilary saw the ENT surgeon who noted left sided deafness with difficulties in speech discrimination manifest at meetings. Hilary had also been unsteady. On examination the only abnormality was a slight tendency to move to the left on Unterberger's step test. A hearing test was performed and was reported as showing a "dip".

The surgeon did not feel that a hearing aid would assist at that time. Nor did he feel that nasal surgery was appropriate and it did not arrange to see Hilary again, she was told that her hearing loss was due to the effects of ageing.

Further deterioration

Over the course of the following months Hilary’s hearing and balance continued to deteriorate. She returned to her GP complaining of headaches, dizziness and  facial numbness.

Hilary attended her GP again who referred her for an MRI scan. An MRI scan was performed and was reported as showing a "large" left sided vestibular Schwannoma with extensive brain stem compression and presumed compression of the left trigeminal nerve.

Hilary saw the ENT surgeon again and was informed of the result of the scan. It was considered that due to a rise in pressure within the head surgery to remove the tumour should be undertaken.

The claim

JMW Solicitors alleged that the ENT surgeon should have sent Hilary for a MRI scan after the first attendance at clinic. Had an MRI scan been carried out at that time the treatment would have proceeded to excision of the tumour soon thereafter. Early diagnosis would have spared Hilary the progression of symptoms.


The case was settled and Hilary obtained £12,500.00 in compensation.

If you or someone you know has been affected by clinical negligence and you feel there may be a case for a compensation claim, get in touch with us today. Either call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you. 

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