We’d like your help getting CurlTalk back on its feet!

By participating on CurlTalk — posting, commenting, liking — in the next few weeks, you will automatically be entered to win amazing prizes.

Our latest winner is Savagegirl!

CurlyCanadian, Bomega and EllaJ have also won wonderful prizes! Will you be next? Post, like, comment, GET ACTIVE and help us get CurlTalk ENERGIZED again!

Learn more!

Frequent Ear Infections - Tubes?

fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
I had them as a kid and seem to have passed them on to Harry. He has his third in as many months and it is a double. We are trying a stronger antibiotic this time. He's got a fever and is in a lot of pain. I just gave him some decongestant (Benadryl) to help him breathe/sleep while DH went out for more Tylenol and Motrin. I just feel so bad for him. :sad5: I know what it feels like, and even had to have my ears drained as a kid.

I know Mad Scientist asked on the speech thread, but has anyone had tubes put in on their kids? What was it like? How did it come to that point for you?
Hair type: 3A/B
I lurk, therefore, I am.
My Blog
«1

Comments

  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users
    I'm sorry you're dealing with those, they can be so tenacious. It's a horrible catch-22. To fight the infection the doctor prescribes abx, which wear the body down in their own way, which make the body more susceptible.

    My parents were told to put tubes in my brother's ears in the 1970s. They went against that suggestion, cut out sugar and processed foods from our diet, added cod liver oil daily as well as other supplements, and my brother never needed tubes. For my own kids, my daughter had an ear infection every time she cut teeth. I used abx the first time, then after that I learned how to treat hers. First I warmed a tablespoon of olive oil and put a few drops into the affected ear, moving the outer ear to get the oil all the way in, then put a small bit of cotton on the outside to keep the oil in. Then, cod liver oil at least twice a day, chewable vitamin C, cut out all dairy because it produces mucous, and sugar because it wears the body down. Lots of rest. Echinacea drops in diluted, cooled tea. A rice hot pad stays perfectly warm for an hour after microwaving for 60 seconds. Motrin or Tylenol for the pain and fever, too. I can't remember what I used, but also something that would dry up the sinuses to dry up the liquid in the ear canal.
    If my kids were to get one now, I'd use some oregano oil in the ear.

    My former roommate had a son with recurring ear infections. At 3 his speech was non-existent. The day he had tubes put in he ran to the patio doors, excited because he could hear the train horn that was only 4 blocks away. His ears were so plugged he hadn't heard the train until then.
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Alexander got tubes at 18or 19 months after he was diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss. I likely would not have gotten them if his hearing wasn't being compromised. It was really cool watching him experience sounds that he couldn't hear before.

    The surgery was pretty low key. He had a funky reaction to the anesthesia and screamed and screamed. I think he was disoriented. After it wore off, he was fine.

    I think I made a few threads about my experience.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Ooh, thanks for starting this thread, although I'm sorry you are dealing with frequent EI's.

    In our case, Sandhya's never had an ear infection which is why I'd never thought one way or another about her ears, with regards to tubes or otherwise. We'd be doing it strictly because of hearing concerns.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I had tubes in my ears as a child. I don't remember much about the ear infections or the procedure, but I do remember waking up afterward and getting to pick out a new stuffed animal at the hospital or clinic. I didn't have any complications from them, and they fell out on their own. The worst thing was that I wasn't supposed to get water in my ears, so I had to wear a bathing cap when I went swimming.
    ehLB.jpg
  • deedlesdeedles Posts: 2,467Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Liam had his in when he was a little one... I think 10 months or so.. which is young but it was worth it!

    The surgery took only 15 minutes and by the time I handed him off to the nurses and went back out to the waiting room the doctor came out like 5 minutes later to say it was done! that quick! like DarkAngel Liam had a reaction to the anesthesia and cried quite a bit when he came out of it but honestly he was playing by that afternoon.

    one thing I often have to be reminded of by the ENT is that "TUBES DO NOT CURE EAR INFECTIONS" but what they do is help the ear drain to keep infections to a minimal.

    Liam continues to have ear infections on occasion but they tend the clear up much quicker now. so I say go for it!

    good luck dearie! and hugs to Harry!

    D

    ps.. and if you are not too squemish here is video I found on google

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.entusa.com%2Fsurgery_videos_flash%2Fear_tube-2%2Fear_tube_2_flv1.htm" class="Popup
    Liam: 6 years old
    Colin: 3 years old
    Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
    Member Since: August 2000
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    One of the things we are exploring is the possibility that he has fluid that is not draining. His voice and enunciation are somewhat nasal even on a good day. Also, one of the things he has trouble with, that Early Intervention pointed out, is listening and responding to his name. So, if nothing else, we are getting a hearing check when all this settles down and will go from there.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Solomon used to get frequent ear infections and what's really helped has been chiropractic care. Our family doctor had suggested it a long time ago, but my husband was reluctant to do so because he is skeptical of chiropractors. Finally, after the last one he had, our doctor said that if we didn't try the chiro she was going to recommend tubes. So my husband agreed to at least give it a chance. Well, he hasn't had an ear infection since. Our doc had recommended going 2-3 times, spaced two weeks apart. I think we ended up going 4 times, but we're not going to go anymore until/unless he gets another ear infection (because getting an adjustment can treat existing infections too). Our chiro is VERY gentle with her adjustments - not at all like the harsh cracking you picture with adults.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    My son used to get horrible ear infections and he stopped geting them when we cut back on the dairy products. That was when he was 2 and shortly afterwards had a speech explosion. He really didn't say anything before than that was understandable. Might be just a coincidence though. He gets very stuffy to this day if he drinks milk or has too many dairy products. Allergies to something in dairy that cause excessive fluids and mucus buildup? or possible allergies to things in other foods.
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    fuzzbucket wrote: »
    One of the things we are exploring is the possibility that he has fluid that is not draining. His voice and enunciation are somewhat nasal even on a good day. Also, one of the things he has trouble with, that Early Intervention pointed out, is listening and responding to his name. So, if nothing else, we are getting a hearing check when all this settles down and will go from there.


    This was Chas' problem. He didn't have a ton of ear infections but he had water in his ears that just didn't drain. He would eventually end up with an infection but he didn't have them one after another. He was 20 months old when he got his tubes. I will say his speech exploded after he had tubes. The surgery took 15 minutes...nothing compared to Chas' eye surgeries. The doctor told us he had maximum fluid in both ears when they put the tubes in. We went in around his 3 year birthday and both tubes had fallen out. The doctor removed them...we were done.

    I have also heard about dairy being an issue for ear infections as well. Good Luck!
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    Aidan is getting tubes inserted in a week and a half- he had chronic ear infections last winter and they started up again in October. He's also having his adenoids removed- they are enlarged and he has freequent colds and asthma, which will hoepfully improve. His speech is fine for his age, but he does not make many sounds for the level his language is at, if that makes sense. I wonder if he has intermittent conductive hearing loss at higher frequencies, which is hard to document in babies. If he starts making the sounds he's not after the surgery, I know what I will suspect.

    I know it's a surgery, but it's a simple procedure and I'm tired of abx and pain and missing work is beginning to be a problem.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    Aaannnddd, now Nathan has one too. Just saw the doctor at the last Friday appointment. Same ear and everything. Going to be a long weekend.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    Oh no! I hope your guys feel better.
  • deedlesdeedles Posts: 2,467Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Aidan is getting tubes inserted in a week and a half- he had chronic ear infections last winter and they started up again in October. He's also having his adenoids removed- they are enlarged and he has freequent colds and asthma, which will hoepfully improve

    Cosmic, he's only a bit over 1 and having his adenoids removed! WOW! they are making me wait on Liam's tonsils and adenoids till 4 years old (august 2010) (which take up 75%) of the back of his throat..

    good luck on aidan's tubes!

    D
    Liam: 6 years old
    Colin: 3 years old
    Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
    Member Since: August 2000
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    deedles wrote: »
    Aidan is getting tubes inserted in a week and a half- he had chronic ear infections last winter and they started up again in October. He's also having his adenoids removed- they are enlarged and he has freequent colds and asthma, which will hoepfully improve

    Cosmic, he's only a bit over 1 and having his adenoids removed! WOW! they are making me wait on Liam's tonsils and adenoids till 4 years old (august 2010) (which take up 75%) of the back of his throat..

    good luck on aidan's tubes!

    D

    I know that recovery from the tonsils is rough and Aidan does not have any issues with his tonsils,maybe that's why they'd rather wait? The ENT and the pediatrician both felt that the enlarged adenoids are restricting his airway and probably exacerbating his asthma, which is largely illness induced. I like our ENT a lot; while this is my first personal experience with him, I've had several families I've worked with who were very happy with him. This is my first experience with this kind of thing though, my other 2 never had these issues.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    We had Harry checked again today. The meds were not working and he was still in a lot of pain. We are trying cefdinir. Crossing fingers that he starts to feel better. If this doesn't work, we move on to injections and barring that, surgery to drain his right ear. Poor thing is miserable.

    Nate is doing OK, but will not take the amoxicillian very well. It's so frustrating.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Fuzzbucket, Marielle recommended garlic mullein oil for us back when Alexander had frequent ear infections. It helped with the pain.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    DarkAngel wrote: »
    Fuzzbucket, Marielle recommended garlic mullein oil for us back when Alexander had frequent ear infections. It helped with the pain.

    Yes, we use this too. And breastmilk in the ear.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    DarkAngel wrote: »
    Fuzzbucket, Marielle recommended garlic mullein oil for us back when Alexander had frequent ear infections. It helped with the pain.

    Yes, we use this too. And breastmilk in the ear.

    I was just about to google breastmilk in the ear! We have plenty of that!
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    Poor kid - yeah the mullein oil preparations work for the pain since mullein is a mild analgesic. I know it works since I've seen it work on the baby (for ear pain, not infection) but also on my husband who after removal of his wisdom teeth is prone to ear/vertigo issues. Haven't read all the posts but also warm heat at the base of the ear should help. (you can make a quickie rice pack by filling a kid's sock with rice and tying a knot then microwaving it for about 30 seconds to a minute).
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    Thanks, Marielle. We have a nice scented rice bag that we use for pain relief (tummy aches, etc.) and other sensory purposes (weighted input for calming him for bed). We've been heating that for him and putting it either on the ear or around the back of the neck. He calls it "bean bag" and will ask for it when the pain gets bad.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    fuzzbucket wrote: »
    but has anyone had tubes put in on their kids? What was it like? How did it come to that point for you?

    We did with my daughter, who is now 4.

    We actually waited longer than normal to get them put in to see if the fluid would drain on it's own during the summer, when infections/colds aren't as frequent. She was about 18 months old when she got them. I wish I could remember how many infections she'd had and in what time frame, but I think that she was right on the border of it being too many in a certain amount of time. We did it more because the fluid that is normally in there just wasn't draining.

    So, we saw the ENT, recommended waiting 6 weeks, then checking again. He checked again, and said that now is when they would do the surgery, but I'd asked to wait another 6 weeks. So, we waited another 6 weeks. She didn't ahve any intfections, but like I said, she still had a LOT of fluid behind her ear drums, the right side being worse than the left. We scheduled the surgery. I do remember asking the doctor if this fluid was causing her to have hearing problems, and he said yes...that was a HUGE motivator for me to get the tubes as well.

    It only took a few minutes, but honestly, her coming out of the anesthesia was the WORST part of it. They are pretty much inconsolable. Nothing makes them happy, they are fidgety, crying, they want to lay down, they want to be held, etc. We gave her some Tylenol and let her sleep it off, about 8 hours later she was fine.

    One tube fell out on it's own in about 9 months, we found it while we were playing outside, it was kind of stuck to her ear. The other one fell out on it's own at some point, but I don't know when. We had her hearing tested about a year ago, and she's fine. She has not had an infection since, but I can tell she still has sinus drainage problems; when she gets a cold, her eyes water, her nose is just nasty, etc.

    When they do get a cold while they have tubes in, the tubes allow the fluid to drain out of the ear, so it is kind of gross.

    I did notice that it took about 3 months after the surgery but her language really took off. I think it was a great choice for us to get her the tubes.
    :rambo:
  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    No problem and one more thought while the 'ol noggin is active. Immune boosters. Off the top of my head some that we use and are very powerfully beneficial:

    1. Cod liver oil (omega 3s and a good source of vitamin D) We use Carlson's brand which is pretty reliable with their purity and testing. My kids drink the lemon flavor straight but some people give the little gummis for kids that don't take them well.

    2. Probiotics - I think it was cyn that mentioned the amazing power of good gut health. We use the Jarrow brand and I'll usually open a capsule to throw in their cod liver oil (seriously my kids are kind of odd in their enthusiasm to drink vitamins). However, in a bit of yogurt or unsweetened applesauce works too.

    3. Vitamin D - specifically vitamin D3. For the kids I use Carlson's D drops and they get wayyy more than the recommended RDA which many doctors are starting to realize is quite low. I'm not going to recommend what to give to your own kids (you know, not giving medical advice and all) but my kids get 2000mg a day (that's one drop) and it comes in a tasteless liquid that is literally one teensy drop. My husband and I drink a larger dose but in gelcaps also from Carlson's. I know you can request your doctor to test for vitamn D levels to get a feel for how well your current levels are doing.

    I've found that vitacost has the better overall prices on most of the supplements I order (I typically place an order every two months). From personal experience I would avoid Lucky Vitamin like the plague. Horrible customer service.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    We did breastmilk drops in both boys' ears last night and it seemed to help. Harry was about 2 hours away from the earliest we could give more Motrin and he was starting to show signs of pain. So much so that he agreed to having me do it and didn't squirm when I did the drops and rubbed his ear. Then, he drank some breastmilk from the bottle (it didn't touch his ear). Did the same for Nate. It must have felt funny to them, because a few minutes later they were both rubbing at their ears. However, they both perked up and didn't need any pain reliever until bed time.

    Also, I think the new antibiotic is helping Harry. We didn't have any crying wake-ups until 5:45 AM, after giving Motrin at 7 PM. A few times I could tell he was uncomfortable, but he was able to stay asleep or sleepy enough to stay in bed and not need more meds.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users
    Halfway through the new meds, and Harry's symptoms are ramping up again. Had him checked again today and it's 50/50 chance that it might clear up or could flare up again. We are waiting until Tuesday to check again. Next step is injections and then talking to a surgeon.

    This has been going on and off since October, with the latest round since New Year's. I'm going crazy from lack of sleep. I feel so bad for him, but *I* can't take much more of this.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • CurlyToastCurlyToast Posts: 579Registered Users
    Hi. :) I don't have kids, but I was a kid with tubes and am presently an adult (29yo) with tubes. Had first set done when I was 3, with 6 1/2 sets, total, the most recent being a T-tube placed in the left ear when I was 20 (still patent) and a different type of semi-permanent tube placed in the right ear last year during a total reconstructive tympanoplasty, which fell out after 6 months. Go figure. Since I've basically spent my entire life having tubes placed, I remember all of it, clearly, from a first hand perspective.

    I know I'm new and all, but if you have any specific questions -- procedure, what to expect, what your kid will experience, etc. please feel free to PM me. :toothy4:


    Also, not to knock homeopathic alternatives but there is a difference between immunosuppression due to dairy and refined sugar consumption, and -- for wont of a technical term which I cannot recall -- undescended eustachian tubes (the "tubes" that extend from the middle ear to the back of the throat and allow for pressure regulation and drainage). Babies and young children often have eustachian tubes that essentially point up. These typically drop, or realign, as the skull grows, so that the middle ear can drain and pressure can be effectively regulated. If that doesn't happen, then it's going to be difficult-to-impossible to control chronic otitis media via the elimination of dairy and sugar. As far as I know, there isn't really a way to check on eustachian tube formation, but I would encourage parents, if their children have chronic ear infections, to find a reputable otologist and follow their advice. Prolonged and repeated ear infections invariably damage the tympanic membrane, potentially leading to considerably more invasive procedures down the road. Believe me when I say that my mother wishes nothing more than to *never* have to get me through another tympanoplasty, ever again.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Bump! Thought I would keep this conversation going and let you guys know what we're up to.

    It was confirmed today that Sandhya has moderate hearing loss in one ear and mild-to-moderate hearing loss in the other. Her eardrums are completely non-responsive. This is the result we were waiting for - basically she can't hear to the point that one would expect language delays both in speech and comprehension. Presumably this is due to the fluid in her ears.

    So we see the ENT next week and move forward most likely with tubes. But in the mean time, my expectations of her in terms of language have suddenly completely changed. I can't expect her to be able to speak or understand us verbally until the hearing issue is resolved. So my focus needs to be on keeping communication advancing but without words.

    I have tons of information on signing that I've filed away and never used. Guess I need to pull that all out now and give it a go.

    Question for Comicfly and others - is there a role for Speech Pathologists to play in her development now that we know about the hearing issue? Or should we sit tight and see what happens with the tubes? We are currently taking the Hanen course, and I think the strategies still apply, but maybe without the emphasis on speech. Is your (or anyone else's) experience that kids who had temporary hearing loss catch up on their own once the issue is resolved?

    Of course I'm feeling guilty now that I didn't realize this issue sooner. I really just thought she was small and taking her own time with talking.
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Mad Scientist, we had the mild to moderate diagnosis prior to Alexander's tubes. While waiting for tubes, I made sure that I maintained eye contact when speaking to him. That helped a lot. I assume he read my lips or facial expressions. After the tubes were in, his language took off with no outside intervention.

    I signed with him from infancy. For some bizarre reason, he started signing right after his tubes were put in. I really think he needed to be able to hear to make all of the communication connections.

    I hope it goes smoothly for you. Try to erase the mommy guilt. You are following up on your concerns now and that's what matters.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    Mad Scientist, you've had concerns about Sandhya's development in other areas as well, right? Dark Angel's suggestions are right on,but I'd seek an evaluation/ speech therapy anyway. A good speech language pathologist who is experieced with infants and toddlers will be able to tell you if she recommends therapy for your little girl and will also be sensitive to her developmental strengths ad challenges. I'm a little scattered now (as usual), but if I think of anything, I will post, and you can always post or pm me if you have specific or general questions.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    DarkAngel wrote: »
    Mad Scientist, we had the mild to moderate diagnosis prior to Alexander's tubes. While waiting for tubes, I made sure that I maintained eye contact when speaking to him. That helped a lot. I assume he read my lips or facial expressions. After the tubes were in, his language took off with no outside intervention.

    Thanks Dark Angel. Your experiences with Xander are very helpful. We've been working on face-to-face interaction and we've started signing today. I'm not sure how long the process to getting tubes is going to take - depending on whether it can be done at our community hospital or if we need to go to Children's. If its going to take a few months then I'm more inclined to seek outside intervention.
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    DarkAngel wrote: »
    Mad Scientist, we had the mild to moderate diagnosis prior to Alexander's tubes. While waiting for tubes, I made sure that I maintained eye contact when speaking to him. That helped a lot. I assume he read my lips or facial expressions. After the tubes were in, his language took off with no outside intervention.

    Thanks Dark Angel. Your experiences with Xander are very helpful. We've been working on face-to-face interaction and we've started signing today. I'm not sure how long the process to getting tubes is going to take - depending on whether it can be done at our community hospital or if we need to go to Children's. If its going to take a few months then I'm more inclined to seek outside intervention.

    Ah yes. If you have a wait, I definitely recommend seeking outside assistance. We were able to get our tubes within a few weeks so I hope you have similar success.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
«1

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file