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Old 04-07-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
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Chronic ear infections/tubes?

My six month old currently has her 6th ear infection. I don't know what to do anymore. Treating them naturally wasnt working. She's on antibiodics now. Her dr wants her to get ear tubes. I keep hearing about allergies and getting her tested but her dr is resisting saying its not effective until 1 yr of age. Im sort of out of options for drs. I haven't had great experiences and I keep switching. Anyway, I know chiro can help but its not an option for us. Any other thoughts/suggestions?

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Old 04-07-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Is this her first round of antibiotics? If so then I would do the full course and see what happens in the next few months. I understand the overuse of abx and fear of resistance, but they do have a place when used properly. For a baby that young I wouldn't want to risk something getting worse because of not wanting to use antibiotics.

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Old 04-07-2013, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic ear infections/tubes?

ETA; Of course all specialists listed below are pediatric specialists.

Agree with above sometime EI's can be stubborn. It took 4 rounds of increasingly stronger antibiotics to get rid of a 4 month long infection for my son. Ironically it was my son's immunologist that finally hit upon the right combo and wiped it out. We were at the ENT for one last ear check before scheduling the surgery and low and behold his ears were finally cleared.

You can go ahead and schedule with an ENT if you want because it might take awhile to get in and evaluated anyway. The ENT we saw did not jump straight into tubes. They performed hearing evaluations and tried a stronger round of antibiotics first. In the end the ENT is the one that calls the shots and a good one should try to fix it less invasively first.

Also antihistamine is supposed to be good for drying out sinuses and fluid in the ears so that may be something to look into. I don't know if you can give antihistamine to an infant that young so ask her ped and follow their advice to the letter regarding that.

Last edited by mekat; 04-07-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic ear infections/tubes?

Please don't let anyone strong arm you into tubes. My son has had 3 sets of tubes since he was 6 months old. He is now 6 and no longer has tubes. They aren't needed anymore because he's only got 1/4 of his ear drum on both sides left. When you look in his ear with an otoscope you can see the little bones in his ear. The poor kid has been wearing hearing aids for a year now, has significant hearing loss and now has to have two ear drum transplants. The transplants aren't exactly a nice surgery and is a 3 week recovery. All this is BECAUSE of the ear tubes.

Before the initial surgery he only had fluid in his middle ear, nothing else. But we were told side effects of the surgery are next to nothing and that without them the outcome didn't look good for speech development etc.

After having a horrible first surgery, we transferred his care to a top notch ENT. We drive several hours to a childrens hospital now for his care.

DS had a milk allergy/intolerance as an infant. I have since developed a milk allergy myself. My allergy is nearly silent. I get very strange flu like symptoms that no dr. would ever attribute to a milk allergy. It makes sense to me that his (now) chronic infections are from an allergy. We have discussed this at length with our ENT, who is absolutely fantastic in all other ways, but who doesn't admit that these infections could be from an allergy. His reasoning is that infections are caused by bacteria or viruses (thanks for that explanation Dr. I had no clue, being a Biology teacher and all ) not allergies. He just doesn't get it that the allergy, and underlying inflammation could be making DS more susceptible to the bacteria/virus causing the infection. I think a lot of ENT's are of this mindset. The best I've heard is that the ENT will test for allergies only when the tube surgeries start to get risky due to too much scar tissue from prior surgeries. Seems kinda bass ackwards to me.

I took DS off of milk on my own. It wasn't that hard since I was already off milk myself. Milk is the most common allergy to cause the ear problems but you may also want to consider other common allergies like wheat and gluten. You can put your child on an elimination diet on your own (if your BF'ing you go on the elimination diet) and see how it goes.

Keep in mind that once you go on an antibiotic you kill off good bacteria that are part of your immune system which makes it easier to get ANOTHER illness soon after. It can take a long time for that beneficial bacteria to build back up again. As a parent the decision for antibiotic or natural is one that I hate making. I still haven't gotten it figured out.

Here is a website that can help out http://www.littlestomaks.com/2009/09...ar-infections/. I realize it's not research itself but it does seem to make a nice summary of the issues.

And as far as I know you can test an infant for allergies. I never heard you couldn't. The one for milk is a blood test. I'm not sure though since my son was older when I first heard about the allergy thing.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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Re: Chronic ear infections/tubes?

Oh and our Ped recommended Claritin once a week during cold season to try to keep the fluid from building up too much. You may want to ask about something like that.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone. We are dairy free. She has been on antibiodics 5 times and I always have her checked to make sure its cleared. This is 6 different infections, not one continuous one. I have heard of using allergy medicine as well.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Chronic ear infections/tubes?

Wow. Antibiotics 5 times is a LOT. Has the dr. suggested anything other then antibiotics for an ear infection. They really don't do antibiotics for them anymore unless it is really severe and there is other problems going on at the same time (really bad cough etc...) I would be concerned that the Dr. wants to prescribe them so much.

I would also go on an elimination diet and insist on allergy testing.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:00 PM   #8
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Both of my daughters had reoccurring ear infections related to teething. Starting around 3 months they would get the infection, then 10 days of antibiotics, maybe a second round if it didn't clear up entirely, then two or three weeks later we'd repeat the whole process. Fortunately DD1 had all her teeth to her 2 year molars by 18 months. Once all her teeth were in the ear infections stopped. I think she has only had one or two since then and she is six now.

When DD2 was following the same path but only had four or six teeth by 10 months we decided to go with tubes. She was between 10 1/2 and 11 months when she got them. The surgery was quick and the recovery went well. The ear infections drastically reduced although they did not go away entirely. When she got an ear infection we treated with oral antibiotics and antibiotic ear drops. The major downside for us has been how long they have taken to fall out. She just had a check up last month and the first one finally fell out 3.5 years later. We are hopeful the second one falls out in the next six months. Overall it has been a positive experience.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Re: Chronic ear infections/tubes?

Well our experince with ear tubes was great. DS kept getting sick and it all lead back to his ears. Once he had the tubes he was great. The surgery was super quick with no IV's or anything. Once it was done DS stopped getting sick all the time and has had no issues. The tube are gone now they just fell out.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #10
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Re: Chronic ear infections/tubes?

We had a good experience with ear tubes. DD gets really bad infections and often ruptures her ear drum. The tubes stopped this and then they fell out and she seems to be doing better. Good luck!
Oh and for the allergy route, we tried her off milk, no change. Found an underlying gluten/fructose intolerance, no change to her ears. We have not tried chiro or allergy meds.
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