Tubes in ears - persistent ear infections. :(

 This is a repeat post from the Toddler board - thought I might get more responses here.

 My son has had 4 ear infections this cold/flu season.  Pedi said one more and we will have to take him to the ENT and discuss getting the tubes in his ears.  I have heard that the surgery is not a big deal, but the thought of him under general anesthetic petrifies me.  I cry just thinking about it. He just finished a kids' "z-pack," which worked last time, but this time he is still rubbing his ear and saying, "ouchie ear."  He was on amoxicillin for the first couple of ear infections, but the doctor switched him to the "z-pack" so as not to overuse the amoxicillin. 

I am going to call the pedi first thing tomorrow morning to have him rechecked.

My heart breaks for my poor little boy!  Can anyone share any experiences with persistent ear infections and/or tubes?  My son just turned 2 a couple of weeks ago, BTW.  TIA!

Re: Tubes in ears - persistent ear infections. :(

  • My son had 7 ear infections between January and July a few years ago.  He had tubes put in his ears when he was 18 months old and it was, by far, the best decision we have made yet.  He had one ear infection since then (he is 3 now) and we were able to treat it with drops.

    The surgery was easy, but he was a mess when he woke up from the anesthesia, it only lasted about 15 minutes though, then he took a nap and woke up in the best mood he has ever been in.

    Good luck with your decision!

  • DS has always had very persistent ear infections.  We try to be conservative with the antibiotics and only use them when we really need to (sometimes they can clear up on their own).  Our pedi supports our approach and is good about saying when it is okay to hold out and when we really need antibiotics.  I hate when we have to give him anything other than amoxicillin (though it is necessary to switch it up).  We have been one ear infection away from ear tubes for almost 2 years now!  We are open to it if it is REALLY medically necessary... so far our pedi has held off recommending for a few reasons.  First, he doesn't get ear infections (or rarely does) in the summer (does your DS?).  So that break gives some wiggle room.  Also, he spoke early and hasn't had any developmental delays at all and we have taken him to a pedi hearing specialist to ensure that he hears fine.  We are just trying to get through this season and to summer and hopefully his ears will be mature enough next winter not to be as susceptible to the ear infections.  We took him out of school around Nov to avoid flu season, and we also cleaned out our whole-house air purifier and replaced the filter.  Those things seem to have helped because he hasn't had an ear infection since Nov... so that is a milestone.  Although, at his recent check-up, he had some fluid in his ears (no infection).

    Anyway, we have been battling these ear infections for a long time and so far haven't had to have the ear tubes.  We want to avoid the procedure if possible, but some people (like my sister) embrace it to end the infections.  So it is important to understand where you fit in to the picture of medical intervention (and your pedi advice).  Also, be aware that some pedi are more quick to intervene than others.  Good luck!!


    Fortunate to be a SAHM to my 3 musketeers (5/2006, 5/2010 & 12/2011). Soy & dairy free for the 3rd and final time. Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers image image
  • My DS basically had an ear infection more on than off from Nov. to Jan.  After we did the antibiotic injections and it still came back we went to the ENT and he recommended tubes.  My DS has autism, so we are particularly sensitive to his ability to hear and communicate. 

    I was really concerned about the surgery since he doesn't really understand when I explain new situations like this, but he did awesome.  They gave him an oral medication to relax him prior to doing anything else and he didn't cry once.  After the surgery he was actually a little too happy - he kept trying to walk around and kept falling.  It was like trying to keep a a roaming drunk person still.  That wore off after a nap and its been smooth sailing ever since.  We haven't had an ear infection since then.  I'm so happy we did it because I think his ears were really bothering him and starting to affect his speech pronunciation.

  • My DS is going to be 4 in July and we went through this too.  The part that I was frustrated with is that he also kept getting a dry, tickle type cough at night and I kept telling the pedi that he had this cough and I thought he may have some allergies (both DH and I do have some allergies).  The pedi said after 5 ear infecations we should get tubes.  I pushed the issue and brought up the cough again.  She said they don't like to put kids under 2 on Claritin or Zertec - but then I said "but you want them to have surgery".  She agreed it would be worth trying Claritin.  We put him on it and he did not get an ear infection for almost a year.  Since then he has had some ear infections, but it has been during cold season when he was congested's not like they just came on out of nowhere.  We have decided to stick with this plan for a while.  He got his first ear infection when he was 10 mo's old and had 5 within a few months (spring/summer when allergies are bad anyway).
  • My DD just had ear tubes placed last Friday, six days after her 1st birthday.  She went from August to February battling persistant ear infections.  She never had more than a week before her ears were infected again.  We tried several different antibiotics with varying levels of success.  But nothing cleared her up completely.

    The procedure was so quick.  It was really difficult watching them put her under (I held her while they put her to sleep) but I think it was the right thing to do.  She woke up from the anesthesia kind of fussy, but after a two hour nap woke up in the best mood she's been in in a while.  And she's been so happy all week.  Still waiting for her to sleep through the night, but her sleep is definitely so much better than than it was.  I'm only a week out, but so far, I think we made the right decision.

    Good luck wiht whatever you end up doing. 

    Susie, mom to DS 4/10/07 and DD 3/6/09 (MC 9/05, 2/06) Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Thank you all so much for your responses.  I feel much better now! 

    I guess what was really bothering me about this most recent ear infection is the fact that it did not clear up after antibiotics.  This was the first time the antibiotics didn't work, and it really has me worried.

    My DS really only gets ear infections when he has a cold, but it happens with almost every cold he gets.

    But it sounds like tubes can be very helpful, and I'm definitely feeling better about the idea now.  Thanks again everyone!

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards