31 answers

Ear Tubes for an Infant

My 10 month old daughter has been having a really hard time this winter, she has had everything from tonsilitis, croup (which she was in the hospital for this last week), and has had at least 5 ear infections since Thanksgiving and is only 15 pounds at 10 months, so they are sending us to a specialist to talk about getting tubes put in her ears. I have been getting a lot of mixed advice about whether or not to go through with this or not, some people tell me that they really will help, and the are not a hassle, and I have also heard that they are bad for the child, and a big pain, and to keep trying to get through it without them. So I was wondering if anyone had any advice whether or not tubes are a good thing or a bad thing?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your advice, it sounded to me like ear tubes were going to help my daughter our so we went to the ENT and Paige is scheduled for surgery on Monday, please keep her in your thoughts, I know it is a simple procedure, but she is my only baby and I worry. I am looking forward to no more ear infections, and for her to be rid of pain!! Thanks again!!

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My middle son had tubes in his put in his ears when he was two. Not only was he free of ear infections but he learned to talk after that. We discovered that he was almost completely deaf from the fluid build up behind his ear drums and once the tubes were in he could hear perfectly.

Interestingly, I was reading an article the other day about this very subject. It said that medical research has proven that ear tubes do not make much difference in the majority of the children they did the studies on. They said that the group of children that did not have the ear tubes was very similar to the ones that did have them. So they concluded that ear tubes probably weren't worth the expense or pain. I can't remember where I read it though. If I come across it, I will certainly let you know. I hope my input helps you- and good luck.

my son had tubes when he was 1 year old, in the same week his friend who is 22 days older had them too. it made a world of difference they both started running and talking uncontrollably!! my son hasnt had an ear ifection since he will be 2 in march and hes been on antibiotics only once since. he hasnt even been sick really, but it only took 15 min at childrens hospital and the staff was really nice and accomadating. when I was 5 I had tubes they really make a good difference let me know if you want anymore info---A.---
HEY GIRL HOPEFULLY YOU GET THIS MY SON GOT HIS FIRST EAR INFECTION SINCE THE TUBES TODAY AND THEY REALLY DO WORK HIS EAR IS DRAINING SO I WAS ABLE TO GIVE HIM HIS ANTIBIOTICS RIGHT AWAY INSTEAD OF HIM WAITING A WEEK GETTING WORSE CAUSE I DIDNT KNOW ABOUT IT! HOPE THAT HELPS!

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You have just described my life with my now 16 year old daughter and 11 year old son. We did tubes with our16 year old and she never had any problems, the biggest issue was keeping water out of her ears while washing her hair. Our son was scheduled for tubes also after months of infections, when one of my friends who is a chiropractor convinced me to let him try an adjustment on our son. Talk about nerves, I wasn't so sure I wanted my baby son "adjusted", but you know he has never had another ear infection and this all happened 10 years ago. Good luck!! If you don't feel comfortable with tubes, then do some research and you will make the best decision for you and your child.

My son is now almost 3 years old, and we have experience with tubes. From age 6 months till 15 months old he was plagued with ear infections and many other sicknesses, kind of like your daughter. After about the 4th one I started to inquire of my pediatrician about them, but he was against them. A little history. My husband was quite sick like my son as a baby/child and had tubes, so to me it was just logical after having so many episodes. He was either in the hospital, or back at the doctors office with ear infections and sickness every 3-5 weeks. It was miserable as a mom.

At the time I had poor insurance and could only see this one doctor, so I dealt with my son basically living on Antibiotics.
After he turned a year I was able to get different insurance and after having 9 ear infections in a row, 1 lasting over 6 weeks (all of these with deadly fevers, and lots of crying and other sicknesses; At 1 year old my son was only 16lbs)

I went to the new doctor and told him how many infections in the length of time and that he was currently on week 6 of the final one. The doctor didn’t even hesitate to immediately say that he needed tubes. Especially after he looked in my sons ears he said tube is the only answer and they should have been done many months before. All those infections caused scaring on his ear drum which was making it hard for him to hear. We scheduled the appointment for 2 weeks later and as soon as he came back to the recovery room we saw a difference.

With the tubes he could hear better because all the fluid was being drained out. It is now 1 year and 8 months later and I am happy to report he has never had an ear infection since. In the first 24 hours we noticed his crying got quieter (they said it was because he could hear better and it became loud to him) within that first week he was completely better. He has had colds and stuff since, but nothing like before.

You see the difference in doctors was that the 1st was from the old school teaching where you don’t do tubes until they are 2 years or older. Old school doctors just rely on Antibiotics. I however follow more natural and newer medicine that believes to many antibiotics can be bad for you. I believe that if you have a doctor leaning toward tubes, then do it. Now I know I was one of the lucky cases where the tubes are still in this far along. They say they could last as little as 2 months or as long as 2 years. At any rate my husband and I decided that it was worth it even if it only lasted a short time, because that meant there was that much time where my son had time to build up his own immune system without antibiotics. If the doctors recommends it then I say go ahead. My experience has been worth it.

To make a long story short. Do it.

I can't say either way. I've known people who have good reviews and bad about tubes.
My question for you is, have you tried chiropratic care? I am a firm believer. My oldest boy went through a really rough period where he had back to back ear infections. I took him to my chiro (who mind you Studied in Pediatric chiro) after only 4 visits and then goin in 1 time before winter, my son hasn't had an ear infection since he was 1 1/2 yrs old.
If this is an option for you to try, be sure to do Your homework. Make sure that the chiro has STUDIED in the field of Pediatric Chiro. DON"T just take her to any chiro. Not all chiro's know ped care!!
It is something to think about. If it works for her, awesome. (it doesn't work for all)But it is less expensive and less painful than having to have surgery. Missa

Hi K.,
My son was 10 months old when he had tubes put in his ears and they have been the best thing for him. His motor skills have improved big time! He to had numerous infections before we did the tubes. The tubes have cut down on alot of infections. But all kids are different. I hope this helps you out. Let me know if you have anymore questions. N. L.

Did you ever get the tubes for your daughter? My oldest son was 12 months old when he got his first set. Before that he had so many ear infections. Also everything he heard sounded like he was underwater for him. He did not pronounce any words right until after he got his tubes. They do not always work the first time, my son is five and on his thrid set. They have helped him so much. The only thing bad about them, is you can not let water get into their ears and he does not like ear plugs, so I have not let him go swimming too much yet. Ear tubes have really helped my son's speach.

I have two nieces and a newphew who have had tubes put in. My sisters-in-law told me that they seemed to help out a lot. Bad childhood ear infections seems to run in my family and it appears that the tubes make a big difference as far as the child's comfort.

K. you go ahead & get tubes for your little one! My daughter was in the same boat at her age! After her tubes she was a totally different little girl. Also , ask her doctors about getting those tonsils & maybe adnoids out at the same time.(we had to go back in to get my daughters done) Oh, I recommend "T" TUBES(they don't fall out as fast) Take care T.

Hi K.! My son, now 3, had his first set of tubes at 9 months old after having Chronic Ear Infections to the point that we had to take him to the pediatrician every day for 3 days to get shots in his legs to help fight the infection he had become so immuned to the standard prescriptions. We noticed a great change after having them put in, and now after going to a second ENT and getting his second set put in this past June he has blossomed as his ear infections harmed his hearing. So, yes I think getting tubes can be a good thing. If you are feeling uneasy about the decision you can always get a second opinion.

Take Care!

Definitely go for it. My son is almost 10 mos now but had to have tubes when he was just 6 mos old. He'd had 6 ear infections in 3 mos. My pediatrician told me I was overreacting, but a mother always know, My family wasn't sleeing because he was always up crying, I couldn't work because he couldn't be in daycare while he was so cranky and had a fever. This was the best decision we made. His ENT (Dr.Beck) is amazing, the whole procedure was so fast and it brought tears to my eyes when he really woke up from the surgery. He had the biggest eyes and looked so amazed. He'd had so much fluid in his ears that he had never heard properly. (which is also a benefit, because too many ear infections can cause hearing and language development problems) We haven't had any ear infections since then and my son is doing great. If your daughter needs them, get them!!!

K.,
My youngest who's medicial file which is larger then an adults had to have tubes in his ears at a very young age. We went through the ear infections and every cold and infection that was going around at the time. He also had a problem with his balance. When the dr came out from his surgery, she had told me there was so much mucues on his ear drums she isn't even sure how or if even could hear us. Since the tubs he has had maybe 4 ear infections. And his ears drain on their own now. So,I believe in them. But I hope your lil girl feels better.

Hey K.,
My twin boys had tubes put in at 6 months old. Now there has been no more infections, and they seem much happier. I think it was the best decision I made for my boys. If the Dr reccomends this procedure, they must have a reason why. We waited with my daughter til she reached so many ear infection in a short period of time. She finally got past the infections, my boys however didn't. hope that helps some.

Hi K. - I think at one time, doctors and parents may have rushed to put in tubes before they were needed, but if your child needs them, I wouldn't hesitate. My youngest son is now 16 months and had his tubes put in at about 12 months. It was the best thing we could do for him. He was having constant ear infections or fluid and was so uncomfortable. We're a little more experienced in this given that my 5yr old had tubes put in last summer after fluid in his ears was found to be causing a speech delay. Some kids and some families are prone to problems with the eustachian tubes. The surgery was very minor -- especially for the baby vs. the 4yo. I'm not saying that it's not something to take seriously, but if you trust the dr and facility and if there is no other reason for the ear infections (you may want to check allergies), I would have it done. Ear infections or "just" fluid remaining in the ear (but not becoming infected), caused sleepless nights, pain and discomfort, behavioral issues (because they just don't feel good) and speech delays. 5 infections in a short period is too many. I think your daughter would benefit from tubes. It's an outpatient surgery with the youngest going in first... you're literally there a few hours and the hardest part is not being able to feed her. Recovery for us was basically snuggling up and tylenol, and we don't do anything different during bath time or water play, just have antibiotic ear drops to use if there's any sign of drainage (which would indicate fluid or infection). Tubes changed things for the better for my sons. Send me a message if you have questions :)

My son had the tubes done and it was very fast! It helped him dramatically. My son was 9 weeks premature due to split uterus. He had several ear infections also and was put in the hospital at 3 months old due to rapid breathing from being sick. It wasn't RSV but close they said. I will say that if the tubes don't fall out on their own they do have to have surgery to close the holes in his ears which my son also had in K and 1st grade but to this day, I wouldn't have did anything different. I'd go for it! I know an excellant Dr too!

My son had tubes in his ears when he was 10 months old. They helped him a great deal, as in, he had so much fluid build up that his ears could have burst. Thankfully we caught it in time. They have fallen out since then and his ENT DR advised that he doesn't need them any more, at least not for now. The DR also advised that it's the soapy water from bath time that causes most ear problems. So I say it would be up to you, although getting them would help prevent ear trouble and relief from pain or what have you. It definitely doesn't hurt to give it a try to see if it helps solve the problem. In any event, I just wanted to share a little bit of my experience with ear tubes with you and hope you find it helpful. Take care.

B.

As a mom of a 7 year old who had tubes when she was 8 months I say go for it. I'm also a nursing student and again I say go for it. Also, when I was younger I had tubes put in my ears three different times....all of which helped. Today I have no hearing problems or ear problems. If there is pressure in her ears, tubes will relieve that pressure immediatly. Your child will be much happier, eat better, and not rub her ears. It only takes 5-10 minutes for the Dr. to insert the tubes and the procedure is very gentle. Just be sure to keep water out of her ears for a while to prevent infection :)

My first son had ear infections all the time, from the time he was a month old until he was five and we had tubes put in his ears. My son's body actually had grown immune to antibiotics and with every ear infection it was getting worse and hurting him more. We finally decided to have tubes put in his ears when he was five years old and it had been wonderful not having to deal with ear infections. He is so much happier now and he can hear a lot better. And now my younger son who is almost a year old is having chronic ear infections and we are suppose to see a specialist in a couple of weeks and I am going to have tubes put in his ears because I think it will do a world of good. Tubes are not as bad as what everyone thinks they are... If you would have asked me this like a year ago I would have said NO but now that I know what it does and how it works.... I am glad that I have decided to have tubes put in my kid's ears... Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

My son got tubes this passed summer at the age of 3 and I only wish we had gotten them sooner for him. He had so many ear infections when he was an infant but we waited per advice from a doctor that he may grow out of them. However he didn't he has not had one ear infection since then. He also had his adnoids (not sure on the spelling there) removed at the same time. We have not any problems with the tubes. You just have to make sure if they are going swimming or in the bathtub you put the ear plugs in. I just thought I'd share our story with you. Good luck and don't worry you will make the right decision.

I can tell you that they are no big deal. I had them put in when I was a young child because I had ear infections all the time, really never ending. From what my mother told me they were a breeze to be put in and the results were instant. I never had a problem with them and I think that when it comes to the health of your child you need to do what needs to be done. But, hopefully I can give you some peace of mind that the 20 some years ago I had them they were no big deal so now it should be even better. I think that you will be very happy with your decision to get them done because it does help so very much. You daughter will thank you too :)

My daughter got tubes in her ears at almost 10 months (she's 14 months now), and she hasn't gotten an ear infection since. She has, however, gotten cold after cold after cold and been on antibiotics once a month since. So, it helped her ears, but not the rest of her. The surgery was no big deal, took about 10 minutes, and she was back in daycare the next day. It is a pain to rinse her hair out now, as you can't get water in her ears, and it will be a pain this summer when she wants to swim.

This may be a little unconventional, but completely worth trying: we've started taking her to a chiropractor who specializes in children. They have even been known to prevent the need for ear tubes. Since my husband and I are under chiropractic care, there's no charge for our daughter. They don't "crack" the babies either. They just use either touch or a little clicker thing that my daughter gets a kick out of. She doesn't cry, it doesn't seem to bother her, and she's happy and sleeps through the night after an adjustment.

We're trying this alternative treatment to help her body heal itself instead of continuing to go the antibiotic route. I hope this helps!

Interestingly, I was reading an article the other day about this very subject. It said that medical research has proven that ear tubes do not make much difference in the majority of the children they did the studies on. They said that the group of children that did not have the ear tubes was very similar to the ones that did have them. So they concluded that ear tubes probably weren't worth the expense or pain. I can't remember where I read it though. If I come across it, I will certainly let you know. I hope my input helps you- and good luck.

If you have had continueal trouble with ear infections and they are starting to talk tubes please listen,my son had continual earinfections we finally put tubes in last May and within 2 days his vocabulary exploded and personality blossomed.He has not had ainfection since still has the tubes.The procedure took like ten minutes!

my son had tubes when he was 1 year old, in the same week his friend who is 22 days older had them too. it made a world of difference they both started running and talking uncontrollably!! my son hasnt had an ear ifection since he will be 2 in march and hes been on antibiotics only once since. he hasnt even been sick really, but it only took 15 min at childrens hospital and the staff was really nice and accomadating. when I was 5 I had tubes they really make a good difference let me know if you want anymore info---A.---
HEY GIRL HOPEFULLY YOU GET THIS MY SON GOT HIS FIRST EAR INFECTION SINCE THE TUBES TODAY AND THEY REALLY DO WORK HIS EAR IS DRAINING SO I WAS ABLE TO GIVE HIM HIS ANTIBIOTICS RIGHT AWAY INSTEAD OF HIM WAITING A WEEK GETTING WORSE CAUSE I DIDNT KNOW ABOUT IT! HOPE THAT HELPS!

I went through the ear infection problem with my first son. He had them often until he was two. His Dr. and I discussed ear tubes but she really wanted to wait until he was two years old to decide. I guess when they are two, their ears grow and take a diffrent shape inside. My son has not had an ear infection since. He is now 9. But in the next breath, you daughter would still have over a year to wait until she is two. Too many ear infections can be bad for the ears. I would suggest taking your daughter to another Dr. or possibly an ear specialist, to get a second opinion.

Good luck,
K.
North Dakota

Yes! Do it- it is so fast (seriously 10 minutes) , low risks, and benefits are great. You don't want to do perminant damage to your child's ears. Ask around and find the best Doctor for the surgery.Good luck-H.

My husband works in the operating room and has for about 12years. He worked closely with an ENT (every Thurs.) both military. You just described life with one of our daughters. We ended up with 3 sets of tubes. If you don't get the fluid out, there can be sever consequences. BUT we probably did not have to go with a 3rd set of tubes, yes you read it right 3 sets. What I can say is we should have had her tonsils out with her first surgery. We ended up having her tonsils and adenoids removed. Because our daughter had fluid in her ears for so long, she has problems understanding, the term is Auditory processing, but she can hear now. Basically, when she was growing up she could not hear anything or properly so her speech is a little behind. The audiologist explained it as the first years of her life everything sounded as if people were speaking with their hand over there mouth (muffled). I say get her first set of tubes, they are not a big deal but be sure to find out if she is going to need her tonsils out later because each time she goes in you get copays, hospital fess, and most importantly you subject her to anesthesia and frankly it's tiring (our daughter has had 4 surgeries). One last point, make sure the ear infections are NOT from reflux which was the case with our daughter and once she got medicated and her reflux under control the ear infections stopped. Feel free to contact me.

I have mixed feeling about tubes so remember no matter what advice you get go with the gut you have about them. Mommy's always have a way of knowing what's best. My older daughter who is 9 now got her 1st ear infection at just 2 weeks old having been blessed with being born in the winter. She suffered for an entire year with ear infections, colds croup etc.. and I did not get her tubes b/c my FIL was dead set against them. He had them(I know how many years ago before this LOL) but they fell out before they had done their job so he also suffered with ear infections and is now partially deaf in one ear. Anyway, when my 2nd child came around and again was a winter baby we did get him tubes and his did the job. He is now 7 and hasn't had an ear infection in years. The medicines and medicine in geral is much much better nowadays so my FIL's opinion I shouldn't have taken to heart but I didn't know any better back then. If tubes stay put and do their job like they are supposed to they are good=) Best Wishes it is definately no fun having a sick baby. I have 2 of them myself right now!

K.
I sent out the same request a month or so ago. My daughter finally got them on Jan 9 and I have been so happy with everything. She is no longer in pain and is a totally new little girl!!! I will tell you that when they have them done it is wierd to them. Shortly after the tubes my daughter was always messing with her ears and so I watched to see if something was causing it and it was always when the house was really noisy or something loud happened. It must have been wierd for her to finally hear.
I will also tell you that we had ear infections for 6 months straight and I would do it all over again. We were in the middle of the 7th month of infections when she had the surgery. And the good thing is that with it being winter she doesn't need to have the ear plugs in if you think that she will be ok.
I would do it all over again now that I see my daughter without pain.
A.

Hi K.!
I am also a new mom to a beautiful 7 month baby girl. We've recently been dealing with several ear infections and a lot of mixed advice. My younger sisters swear that tubes are the way to go. I talked with my doctor about it and she recommended we hold off. It's winter and kids are going to get the ear infections and other illnesses. She said if spring comes (April) and Emilie is still getting them into the summer, yes we should look into tubes. For now, we are holding off on anymore discussion about it. The only time we ever find out Em has an infection is when we go to the doctor. She doesn't pull on her ears or act as if she's in pain. I guess if she was acting as if she was in pain I'd be more concerned.

Those are just my thoughts. Good luck and I hope things work out.
T.

My middle son had tubes in his put in his ears when he was two. Not only was he free of ear infections but he learned to talk after that. We discovered that he was almost completely deaf from the fluid build up behind his ear drums and once the tubes were in he could hear perfectly.

K.-
Hi there. I have a 4 year old son, who had a lot of ear infections as an infant. We had tubes put in when he was about 14 months (hard for me to remember back that far). About half of the time, we never knew he had the infection, it was just the doctor telling us, the other times, he would wake up screaming or not want to nurse or eat. After we had them put in, no more problems. It was hard for me to want my baby to have a surgery, but for him it was best. So here we are about 3 years later, and one of the tubes came out this past fall, and since we have had 2 major infections of that ear. I am debating on 2 things. I have heard that there is something in the neck that can get out of whack with the drainage of the ear, and there is a chiro. around here that can fix that. I have had friends take their children there and swear by that. I am not sure if we will do that or if I will go back to the ENT and get a second tube in. We were just diagnosed last week with the 2nd infection, so I am going to wait around for the next one.
So... I loved what the tubes did for my baby.
Good Luck.

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