April 29, 2009,
S. asks from Joliet, IL on April 28, 2009
Doc Said 7 Month Old Needs Tubes in His Ears
Hi Moms. I took my 7 month old son to the ENT today (he is at Children's Memorial) and he said that baby needs tubes in his ears. He has had 5 ear infections since January this year. This is my third child and I have never been through this before and was looking for some words of wisdom...can anyone please help me out here?
So What Happened?™
Thank you all. I really appreciate all of your experiences and kind words. It helps so much to know that everything will work out in the long run. I can't wait for him to have the relief!!
N.J. answers from Chicago on April 28, 2009
As a nurse and a mother of 2 little ones, I have to say that getting the tubes put in was the best decision we could have made for our daughter (who was 2 at the time). I believe that the "theory" is 3 infections in 6 months - which can lead to hearing loss. That last part is what concerned us. In order to "convince" us that she needed them, our ENT did an extensive hearing test on her - and she had lost 30% of her hearing - that she could possibly recover after the tubes (which she did - thank God). It was nerve wrecking for us - I should say me, b/c I'm usually the one in the operating room with patients - now that the shoe was on the other foot, I didn't like it so much. Honestly, they wheeled her into surgery, my husband and I walked to the waiting room and 5-10 minutes later our ENT was walking towards us with a big smile on his face - all done! Wow - placing of the tubes isn't the hard part - it's getting the kids to sit still for the 10 seconds it takes to insert them - which is why they need the anesthesia. We got special made ear plugs (they did it at our ENT office) which we made our daughter wear religiously after her surgery during baths and swimming. She had 1 infection after the tubes - about 13 months later - which is here we discovered that her ear tube had fallen out! Yeah - she no longer needed it! The other one was almost out so the ENT removed that one with out our daughter even making a peep (it was sitting in the ear canal already). Just that 1 infection after the tubes and it's been 2 years since that one. Good luck to you in making this decision. Look at the literature out there regarding hearing loss and ear infections. It was an eye opener for us. Now that it's all said and done, we are very happy that we had the tubes. Our daughter was miserable with the infections and they never really "cleared up" - and she was allergic to Amoxicillin. We were constantly at the doctors with ear infections. I was a nervous Nelly about the procedure - but what mother isn't when it comes to their children? Good luck!
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J.M. answers from Chicago on April 28, 2009
I know it sounds bad but the surgery is completely painless and over before you know it. I have had 3 go through it. They are fine by the end of the day. It has been the best thing. There are no more trips to the doctor, no more prescriptions, no more fevers and crabby kids, no more up all night screaming in pain.
My son has not had another ear infection since his tubes went in. The tubes fell out after 1 year and he is still infection free (it has been over 2 years).
My daughter had an infection immediately following the tubes but cleared quickly and hasn't returned (2 1/2 years).
My 3rd still has his tubes and has been great since.
Just make sure that you have the audiologist make custom ear plugs to keep the water out during bath time and swimming and your son will be good as new.
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G. answers from Chicago on April 29, 2009
S., my 16 month old just had tubes put in 4/17/09. It was tough but she seems to be sleeping better, hearing better and in a much better mood without the infections. She also had to have her adnoids removed. I think I was more scared and upset than she was. She was very clingy that day but Saturday, she was fine and we even took her to Six Flags because it was a beautiful day out. Good luck. We had Dr. Beste at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. Let me know if you want to know anything else.
B.M. answers from Chicago on April 29, 2009
Are you looking for alternatives to getting the tubes in (ie, avoiding ear infections)?
If so, I would highly recommend the book "How to Treat Children's Upper Respitory and Ear Infections without Antibiotics" By Dr. Mary Anne Block.
She sets up a whole system to help build your child's immune system.
We just went through this with both of my son's sinus infections and a friend has a 4 month old who is currently going through Dr. Block's recommendations to avoid tubes. If you would like more information, I would be more than happy to share with you.
N.G. answers from Chicago on April 29, 2009
My daughter had tubes put in her ears twice when she was young. (She is now 12) The first set fell out avout 4 months later and the ear infections came back. But I would definately do it again if need be. She was in so much pain and the tubes worked immediately. The only draw back is that there is now a scar on one ear drum. It doesn't affect her hearing but it still concerns me. But I would definatly do it again.
P.M. answers from Chicago on April 29, 2009
My son had two sets of tubes. First one being 6 months old. I too would definitely do it again. It's not as scary as it seems. The pain is short lived and Tylenol and aleviate it. Just think, this is better than ear infections and also a lot better than risking your baby loosing his hearing or having speech delays. Good luck!
K.R. answers from Chicago on April 28, 2009
I just wanted to let you know that everything will be okay. My daughter had tubes put in two months ago and she was 6 months. She had her first ear infection at 2 weeks went through 2 antibiotics to get rid of it. And then they just kept coming her last one resulting in getting a shot to get rid of it. It was misserable she was misserable. But let me tell you the night and day difference in getting the tubes. She rolled over for the first time the same day she got her tubes. You won't believe the things that can effect the babies/kids with having ear infections all the time.
My DD goes to Copley for her doc but I have heard nothing but GREAT things about childrens memorial docs. Our daughter was there her first week of life in the NICU and everyone was great. So I would say do it now when they are younger because it easier to help keep the water out of the ears too.
Good luck and don't worry. The hardest part for me was not being able to feed her before... but she was fine. and litterally the surgery took 10 mins!
J.C. answers from Chicago on April 29, 2009
I don't take surgery lightly, but I wish we had known to get tubes in my son's ears before we did. He didn't have infections, but he permanently had water in them, which eventually caused him to fail his preschool hearing test. The occupational therapist he saw (in kindergarten) said that his vestibular and balance issues may have been caused by having things "off" in his ears during early development. (his hearing was fine after surgery)
Personally, I developed an allergy to penicillin and they say because I had so many ear infections as a child. In these days of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it makes me very nervous that there is a whole class of drugs I cannot take. So that's another factor to consider.
7 months seems very young, but kids take years to grow out of the tendency to ear infections. I really think the tubes are a great option. And the staff and doctors at Children's Memorial are the best!