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Old 11-29-2006, 08:46 PM   #1
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Ear infections

My 11 mo DS is on antibiotics for his 5th ear infection (the first one was when he started going to daycare at 4.5mo). Our ped said that we need to start thinking about tubes. I thought breastfed babies weren't supposed to have as many ear infections, but even though we're still BF, it doesn't seem to matter. Any advice?

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Old 11-29-2006, 09:09 PM   #2
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Re: Ear infections

i personally would have another ped take a look adn see what he thinks about tubes. its only his 5th ear infection when my 11yo was about 1.5 he got tubes put in bc of constant ear infections (like 1-2 per month from birth on) and the his ears werent draining.

what about expressing some BM and putting that in his ears?? it works for stuffy noses
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: Ear infections

Actually, it's hereditary. Breasatfeeding has VERY little to do with it if you and/or your husband had ear problems as children.

DS had 5 ear infections by the time he was 7.5 months old. He's 8 months now, and just had tubes put in almost 2 weeks ago. He was ALWAYS hurting. He slept terribly because anytime he'd lay down the pressure would hurt.

Since he got off the anti-biotics for his 5th ear infection, and his tubes have had time to heal, he's started sleeping 100% better. He was waking up 4-10 times a night! Now, he wakes up once to eat and that's it.

I would go for the tubes to be honest. More than likely your son is hurting almost constantly. Why make him go through that when tubes can solve the problem in days? I wouldn't make him go months of more ear infections before doing something about it. Ear infections HURT BAD. I still get them every now and then and they are horrible. I'd do whatever I had to to make sure DS didn't have to suffer with that more than neccessary.

We opted to do the in-office procedure. No starving him, no putting him under, no throwing up. In, out, and done with it in 15 minutes. They go into hysterics being strapped down to the papoose board, and the nurse said that the numbing ear drops could sting for about 3 seconds, but past that, it's not bad at all. I made DH take him because I couldn't stand to hear him cry. The appointment was at 9:00, they were home by 9:45 and the office is 20 minutes away. DS went down for a nap at 10:30, and when he woke up at noon, he was acting completely normal! His ears bled a little for the next couple of days, but that was it.

ETA: You'll have to go to an ENT and they'll decide whether or not your child is a good canidate for tubes. But they really know their stuff. Just make sure you get a good one.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:05 PM   #4
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Re: Ear infections

Dd got tubes in February, when she was almost 14 months. She almost got sent to the ENT to be evaluated when she was 8 months, but the fluid in her ears finally cleared at that point for a few months. She had her first ear infection when she was 4 months and EBF. After that she basically infections once a month, and her last infection in December ended up with her getting antibiotic shots in January.

I didn't know that they do tubes in the doctor's office. We did it at the hospital. We were scheduled for 9AM. They let me be with dd until she fell asleep from the anesthesia. 10 minutes later they called me to come because they were done. By 10:30 AM I was at Mommy and Me with both of my dd's. She was her usual self afterward and not sleepy. We had no bleeding. The only difficult part was the stress on me because dh was on a business trip when we did it, and we couldn't push it off a week because we were going on vacation and dd couldn't fly without tubes.
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:08 PM   #5
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Re: Ear infections

As pp said, have you tried bm?? That has worked wonders for us! Gavin has had 2 diagnosed ear infections (we didn't do abx for either) and then he had 2 night-time wakings (he NEVER wakes at night) that were just like when he had the 2 diagnosed ones (uncontrollable screaming, panting, red ear, seeming to be "out of it"). Those 2 times we gave him a herbal calming tincture (from Herbs for Kids) and I put ebm in his ear. Both times he went straight back to sleep and in the morning, all was well, and he said his ear was fine and we never heard any more about it. At the very least, it can't hurt!
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:00 AM   #6
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Re: Ear infections

EBFing definitely didn't make a difference for us. Both of my youngest two were prone to ear infections and EBF for the first 6 months and continued to BF past a year (DD is still nursing).

My DD is 17 months now and had tubes put in almost 2 months ago. I was really unsure that we were doing the right thing but by the third week after they were put in, she was talking much more clearly than pre-tubes. I'm almost positive that the fluid in her ears was making it hard for her to hear everything correctly. She's teething right now and normally gets EIs when she has teeth coming in and it's such a relief this time to not have to go through the ear infection.

If you're not comfortable, get a second opinion or ask them for a referral to an ENT to discuss it with them. The ENT we saw was a big help making the decision.

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:47 AM   #7
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Re: Ear infections

I would do the tubes too. It really is a minor procedure. I observed this procedure in nursing school. Seriously, I could probably do it, it's that simple.

It has nothing to do with breastfeeding or formula feeding. It is the structure of the inside of the ear that cannot drain properly and she will outgrow it. In the meantime the tubes will help her ears to drain so fluid wont be sitting there waiting to cause an infection. The tubes aren't permanent either, they will fall out in 6 months to a year.

Chronic ear infections aren't good. My neice has a permanent hearing loss from having had so many ear infections before the age of 2.
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:54 AM   #8
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Re: Ear infections

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffer23 View Post
Actually, it's hereditary. Breasatfeeding has VERY little to do with it if you and/or your husband had ear problems as children.

DS had 5 ear infections by the time he was 7.5 months old. He's 8 months now, and just had tubes put in almost 2 weeks ago. He was ALWAYS hurting. He slept terribly because anytime he'd lay down the pressure would hurt.

Since he got off the anti-biotics for his 5th ear infection, and his tubes have had time to heal, he's started sleeping 100% better. He was waking up 4-10 times a night! Now, he wakes up once to eat and that's it.

I would go for the tubes to be honest. More than likely your son is hurting almost constantly. Why make him go through that when tubes can solve the problem in days? I wouldn't make him go months of more ear infections before doing something about it. Ear infections HURT BAD. I still get them every now and then and they are horrible. I'd do whatever I had to to make sure DS didn't have to suffer with that more than neccessary.

We opted to do the in-office procedure. No starving him, no putting him under, no throwing up. In, out, and done with it in 15 minutes. They go into hysterics being strapped down to the papoose board, and the nurse said that the numbing ear drops could sting for about 3 seconds, but past that, it's not bad at all. I made DH take him because I couldn't stand to hear him cry. The appointment was at 9:00, they were home by 9:45 and the office is 20 minutes away. DS went down for a nap at 10:30, and when he woke up at noon, he was acting completely normal! His ears bled a little for the next couple of days, but that was it.

ETA: You'll have to go to an ENT and they'll decide whether or not your child is a good canidate for tubes. But they really know their stuff. Just make sure you get a good one.

ITA: i was exclusively breastfeed as a child and still had to have tubes twice before the problem was resolved. it is hereditary and has to do with the eustation tubes not being able to drain properly. when a baby eats while laying down sometimes milk gets inside the tube and when it can't escape causes an infection. i think it's always scary to have to make a decision to have surgery for your child, but sometimes its whats best. mama!
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:04 AM   #9
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Re: Ear infections

I took my DD to the ENT last week and he told me that if the fluid hasn't drained in 3 months it usually won't and they rec tubes. DD has balance isues as well as some high tone hearing loss so we are scheduled for tubes on Jan 3. I feel pretty comfortable with the decision - I can't stand the thought that she is in constant pain and this will fix the problem. I did some research and this is the most common surgery performed in the US and takes about 10 mins. You wouldn't hesitate to have your childs appendix out if it was causing problems - this isn't very different. With constant fluid in their ears many kids have hearing loss which delays speech and balance problems which delays gross motor skills. Not to mention the constant pain from the EIs. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:43 PM   #10
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Re: Ear infections

My ped told me that it usually is heriditary, but over Thanksgiving I asked my mom and mother and law and neither my husband or I had ear infections as children, so I'm a little confused about why DS does.

I don't want DS to be in pain or end up with hearing loss, but one thing that makes me leery of tubes is that DS isn't fussy about ear infections AT ALL and so I'm not sure whether having the surgery is necessary or will cause different/more problems. For all of the ear infections, the only way I knew about them was that we were in the peds office for a well-baby visit and the doctors noticed redness in his ears. The reason the doctor said that we should start thinking about tubes is that as a matter of policy they start suggesting tubes if the child has 6 or more EIs in a year. These last 2 were pretty close together, but again he hasn't been overly fussy or anything and it doesn't seem to effect his balance or gross motor skills. He's been walking independently for a little while now and seems to be getting better at it all the time.

I think I will take the advice to consult an ENT or another ped about whether tubes are necessary.

Thanks for all of the help, mamas. Knowing that many of you have been there and done that and it turned out OK helps me worry less.
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Last edited by AKM; 12-01-2006 at 01:45 PM.
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