Our 10 month old girl started daycare in mid-March which has caused her multiple colds. About three weeks ago, her cold lead to her first ear infection and her doctor gave her two rounds (10 days, then 7 more days) of the same antibiotic (Augmentin). Our girl's cold/ear infection symptoms improved during the treatment but have since reappeared. We were referred to an ENT who recommended ear tubes to decrease the reoccurence and protect against hearing loss.
Is it prudent to operate on a 10 month old who has only had an ear infection for 3 weeks? Should a different type of antibiotic be used before resorting to surgery on a baby? Are ear tubes the only alternative?
I'm sure you can tell from my questions, I do not like this idea at all! What would you do?
Have you talked with your pediatrician about the ENT's recommendation, and have you asked him/her if there were other antibiotics you could try? That would be a prudent first step. Perhaps a second opinion from another ENT is in order too.
Also, do either you or your wife (or child's caretaker) smoke? Children who live in a smoker's environment are more prone to ear infections.
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
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My son, who is 17 now, had ear tubes put in when he was 14 months old. This was after months of colds and ear infections and multiple rounds of antibiotics. The tubes did work for him but not without some problems. First you have to be diligent in using ear plugs or putty when giving a bath or when playing in pools. One of my son's tubes came out when he was 6-7. The other one remained in until he was about 13 when we had it (minor) surgically removed, based on the doctors recommendation. about 6-12 months later, the doctor discovered that the eardrum still had a hole in it. We had to have a graft procedure performed to close the hole. It appeared to work at first, but a couple of years later the hole was back. Just two months ago my son had another graft procedure to close the hole. It is the same eardrum that kept the tube for about 10-11 years. We're not sure if the tube and the subsequent holes are directly related, but he has never had any problems with the ear that the tube voluntarily fell out when 6-7 years old.
I would advise giving it a little more time, then make a decision. If this is the first ear infection, your daugher may not have any more. Out son was in daycare and seemed to catch every thing that came along. I hope I haven't confused you.
Thank you for going out of your way and doing that for us. It's most appreciated!Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE
Thanks, that's our exact plan. It'll probably take a third opinion before I accept the idea of ear tubes for a 10 month girl.Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE
No smokers here. The only high risk factor, we've identified, is the daycare (large facility). My wife is still breastfeeding which is considered prudent.Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE
I'm very sorry you'll have had to experience this! Unfortunately, your experiences illustrate my fears and reasons for concern. I really appreciate you making me aware of your experiences and your advice.
I have no problems with tubes in the ears; they were quite helpful for both of my children (now 18 and 20). My daughter got them when she was 3 or so, and hers were quite uneventful and very helpful. My son got them at age 2 or so. Similar to Tommac's son, he had one fall out and get put back in, then it left a hole. We patched the hole at age 6 or 7, and we found another hole at age 15, which then was patched over the summer before his junior year in high school (meaning he couldn't go swimming/jet skiing most of that summer -- bummer).
Tommac also has a good point about the fact that tubes require earplugs during any and all water activity. That includes nightly baths! It's a bother, but worth it for recurring infections! We did several months of recurring infections before we went for surgery.
The hindsight part is that when the child is in school, patching the eardrum isn't the best thing that can happen for his/her grades. The ear requires packing for 4-6 weeks, which means the child doesn't hear well. Not optimum for classroom learning in elementary school. Completely tragic in high school when the child is a drummer in the marching band and needs stereo hearing (and listening in AP classes, too!). We scheduled his second patch surgery at the beginning of the summer, which ruined his summer, but was the lesser of the evils.
None of this was insurmountable, and it is NOT meant to scare anyone away from tubes! The tubes helped both immensely. But given what happened with my son, I'd make good and sure you've got recurring infections before proceeding with tubes.
On the flip side: hearing loss sucks. When she was one or two, my brother-in-law's niece lost hearing in both ears from an infection and fever the parents weren't respecting enough. She's now in middle school and has implants in both ears.
By all means do get a second opinion - and even a third - but make sure you know the symptoms to look out for.
Don't know what sort of research you've had an opportunity to do on the subject of ear tubes.
I've found the Mayo Clinic's web page to be helpful on a variety of topics. Here's a link for the topic Ear Tubes. http://mayoclinic.com/health/ear-tubes/MY00601
The Duke Medical Center's Health Library may also provide some helpful information. http://www.dukehealth.org/Search?sea...tegory=library
Son was in daycare, and had chronic ear infections. It seemed like he'd get something every other week and get sent home. Augmentin or Amoxicillin both seemed to work OK for him, although Augmentin didn't require a fight for him to take. I am not a doctor, but below is my understanding.
I know that tubes are basically for very young kids. As you get older, your ear canal begins to slope towards your sinuses, allowing your ears to drain that way. For young kids this canal is essentially flat, so any fluid buildup is more likely to result in an infection. A tube allows that liquid to drain through the ear canal, preventing buildup and most infections. Left untreated, ear infections can cause deafness, and ear tubes have been credited for drastically reducing the occurance of infant hearing loss over the past 20-30 years.
The proceedure is very safe and takes less than 5-10 minutes to complete. Our son cried a good bit once he came out, slept all the way home, and was wide awake by the time we got home and showed no ill effects. He also was not required to wear ear plugs for bath or pool time; our Doctor said it was unlikely for sterilized water (or soapy water) to result in infection. He recommended plugs when he went swimming in the ocean or in freshwater.
By the time he was 3-4, both tubes had naturally worked themselves out. His cousin has had to have 3 sets of tubes; she is six and a half now.
Bottom line - don't be scared of the procedure, as it has become very common for kids under 1yr. If antibiotics won't clear up an ear infection, this is your next best alternative, unless you're willing to take him/her out of daycare. Our #2 just turned two and has had less than 3 ear infections total, but unlike our oldest he doesn't attend daycare.
"There can BE only one."
Ear infections can be so painful for anyone, but especially for very young children and their parents. As thorough as you are, Jeffrey, I am confident that when you and your wife make a decision on this matter, it will be what's best your little daughter.
We didn't have to have ear tubes for either of our kids, but my understanding is that they're not terribly controversial at this point -- if they're truly indicated. It does seem odd to recommend them so quickly, after a single infection. I have several friends/relatives who found that tubes were the only way to prevent the multiple ear infections they were struggling with. One good friend's son was about 2 when he had them, and his slight language delay was erased in the matter of a few weeks. It was startling to realize (later) how much the infections were affecting his hearing, and therefore his language development.
That said, my youngest did have several ear infections, just never one on top of another. We considered tubes, but it never got quite to that point. (I should note that my husband is a pediatrician, if that matters.) Both of my kids were in daycare from a young age, but my oldest had perhaps one ear infection ever. It's really hard to predict, and highly dependent on individual anatomy.
Definitely, the second opinion (or third) sounds warranted, and there's no reason to rush out for tubes, if antibiotics work to beat the infection.
If you feel that daycare is the problem, perhaps your wife and you could work together to stay home? Is there some reason it would be solely up to her (don't mean to pry, and feel free to ignore it, but your statement seemed a bit extreme and surprised me)?
The ENT recommended ear tubes to get rid of the current infection (which two rounds of antibiotics have not done) and protect against hearing loss. I assume it was also to decrease the reoccurence of ear infections.Originally Posted by Devil in the Blue Dress
Thank you very much! Our decision is only about what's best for our baby girl. There is nothing I would not do, or give, for her!Originally Posted by Devil in the Blue Dress