26 answers

Help, Toddler Keeps Getting Ear Infections!

My son is 21months old and is on his 8th ear infection, this time in both ears! He's been having ear infections since 5 months old and was even breastfed! (I always heard breastfed babies did not get ear infections)
He has been prescribed antibotics each time and they always seem to clear up but my husband and I would rather him not take anymore antibotics! It just seems to be a lot of medicine! Any natural methods or has anyone had success/failure with tubes? Thanks!

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J. -

I would recommend a chiropractor that deals with children. They are wonderful. I take my 4 month old to one for her colic and he took care of it whith in a few weeks of adjustments. My chiropractor has many children coming to him for ear infections. If and when my little one develops ear infesctioins,I will definately be taking her to him over the regular doctor who will perscribe antibiotics.

I would try cutting him off dairy. This can help a lot with ear infections. Also, in my experience with tubes, they don't work.

My daughter had her first ear infection at 3 weeks old. The doctor couldn't believe it.

By the time she was 9 months old she had had 10 ear infections. She got tubes at 10 months of age and did not get another one until she was 2 1/2 years old. Her tubes are out now and she just got her second ear infection since December of 2004.

I would go see a specialist and see what they have to say. If I had to do it over I would do the same thing. Her last ear infection took 3 different medicines because it wouldn't go away.

You have to do what is right. I know lots of people go to the chiropracter but that was something I chose not to do. I did speak with one though. I opted for tubes.

Good luck with what you do.

More Answers

Find a chiropractor. I swear by it. My daughter gets occasional ear infections and the last time she had one I took her to my chiropractor and with just 15 minutes of work she was as good as new. He really helps with the healing process so no drugs or tubes are needed. I don't know where you are located but I use Dr. Carl Pearson in Lowertown St. Paul. his phone is ###-###-####. He has an infant daughter of his own so he is great with kids.

I have 2 boys with continuous ear infections as well. Get the tubes! ENT specialist Terry Rhodes with Minnesota Otolaryngology is awesome! He has been doing it for 30+ years and is amazing! We have had great success. YOu don't want to have your child on antibiotics all the time! We had ourr surgeries at Children's West in Minnetonka. It is fast and well worth it!

I would try cutting him off dairy. This can help a lot with ear infections. Also, in my experience with tubes, they don't work.

Hi J.! I'm a single mother of a 10-year old daughter who at the same age repeatedly got ear infections. If your son has already had 8 ear infections, get him to an Ear, Throat & Nose Specialist right away. Due to the constant ear infections my daughter got, eventually one of her ears got SO inflammed that she wasn't able to hear in one ear, barely in the other thus delaying her speech by the time she was 2-1/2. My daughter had to undergo 3-years of speech therapy because her speech was delayed as a result of the ear infections. I was told by her specialist that eventually the child's immune system will no longer respond to the antibiotics and surgery will become inevitable. The first time she had tubes put in they were "temporary" ones that naturally fell within one year. They worked beautifully. Once those fell out, she got another ear infection right away and had a longer lasting tube put in that lasted 3-years. Again, the tubes did exactly what they were supposed to do (which is drain the ear) and by the time those fell out she was 6 years old. As of today she hasn't had one single ear infection and no problems. I hope this helps you in your decision making process. I wish you the best!

Chiropractor, chiropractor, chiropractor. Studies now show that chiropractic adjustments are more effective than antibiotics and tubes. Our son had the same issues as yours. He was BF for a year, but started getting lots of ear infections from 7 months on (the infection would pass but the fluid in the ears was always there so another infection would return quickly). And this was during the summer months. At 14 months, our ped referred us to an ear/nose/throat specialist who said our son should get tubes. I wasn't willing to go that route without trying chiropractics first. So right after the ENT appointment, we headed to Valley West Chiropractic in Bloomington to see Dr. Troy Boschee (he has a specialty in children). We went every 2 weeks for a total of three visits. The fluid was gone. This was late October and we had no problems until late January when it seemed another infection might be moving in and we were about to leave town for a month. So I took him back to Dr. Boschee and also got a prescription from our ped just in case. I never needed the antibiotics. Now we get a maintenance adjustment about every 3 months. No more ear infections in the last 2.5 years and the bonus is he gets very few colds compared to his friends in school. And when he does get a cold we hardly notice because it only lasts a day. It ROCKS!!!

My daughter Micaela (now 4yrs) was also experiencing frequent ear infections since birth. By the time she was 1 1/2 we too had had enough with both ear infections AND antibiotics! We'd gotten several ENT specialists opinions, which the final had recommended adenoid removal. Due to their extraordinary size, that was the major cause for the reoccuring infections. We'd never expected that would be the cause, but thankful that it was explored. Since that simple surgery, gratefully Micaela hasn't had one ear infection. Another successful suggestion: see an herbalist/natropathic doctor. We love Dr. Lucia, see her regularly & highly recommend her. Hope this all helps. Best of luck to You & Yours. J.

J.:
I say go with the tubes. Both og my children had tubes and it was a very good thing. My daughter lost over half her hearing by age 4 and when we had tubes put in she gained it all back and it improved her speech. My son had no ear infections with tubes and neither did my daughter. Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk about them more.

T.

My son had recurrent ear infections too. He did get tubes at 2 yrs, one has fallen out, but no ear infections since the tubes. typically, ear infections will heal themselves, and antiobiotics are really bad for your immune system...go to a chiropractor they have therapies that spometimes help clear the infection. Also at a chiro or GNC, there are ear drops, that take the pain away and allow the ear to heal naturally.
S.

Both my kids, my 5 year old had multiple ear infections and was constantly sick as a baby. She had tubes put in when she was 3 and has not had one since. (She also had tonsils and adnoids removed at that time.) The tubes fell out just before she turned 5 and she instantly had fluid and pressure build up. She had the tubes reinserted and again she cleared up immediately. She still has not been sick. It was the best thing we ever did. I wish we hadn't waited so long!!!
We also have a friend that is a chiropractor and he swears that chiropractic manipulation can help. (We never tried it.)

Good luck with whatever you decide. I feel for you. It was some of the most miserable times in our lives. (for both parents and child!

J. -

I would recommend a chiropractor that deals with children. They are wonderful. I take my 4 month old to one for her colic and he took care of it whith in a few weeks of adjustments. My chiropractor has many children coming to him for ear infections. If and when my little one develops ear infesctioins,I will definately be taking her to him over the regular doctor who will perscribe antibiotics.

My son was the same, breastfed, but the ear infections started at 4 months old, and never stopped. He had his 6th infection by his first birthday, a few more, then they stopped for 4 months (I was a nanny and he was out of daycare). Then, they suddenly started up again, around 19 months old. They would get better with antibiotics, but always seemed to come back within a week of finishing it, so it was like it never completely went away. They kept trying different antibiotics, but after at least 2 infections a month for 4 months, he finally got tubes at 23 months old. I wasn't sure I was making the right decision, was a little unsure of whether he really needed them. The Dr's wouldn't give me opinions on whether he needed them or not- just explained to me how they worked and wanted me to decide. They said they would stay in between 4 months and a year, the first fell out after 8 months, the other after almost a year. To help me decide whether to do it (because he was almost 2, and some kids outgrow infections at 2), he said a lot of people will schedule it for a month away, and if they don't get any more infections, just cancel it. So I did that, and he had 2 infections during that time, the 2nd was the day of the surgery, that went away with no antibiotics with the tubes in place. For my son and I, tubes were the right choice. The infections stopped, 4 months after the first tube fell out he got one, that was in March, and not another one since then. I didn't want him to continue all the antibiotics, to me the simple surgery was better than constant antibiotics. I have heard that chiropractors can help a lot too, I haven't tried, but it might be worth it. The surgery was very easy, we had to be there 1 hour in advance to do paperwork and have them check his temp and everything. Just sat in the children's waiting room and he played. He sat on my lap when they put him to sleep, after he was asleep they put him on the bed and sent me back to the waiting room. Within 15 minutes, the Dr came to tell me how it went (that both ears were infected, he suctioned out what he could and the rest should drain, and that the tubes were in place with no problems). He stayed in the first recovery room until he woke up, with a nurse there with him. (that takes about 10-15 minutes). Then they get you and go to the 2nd recovery room, where you hold them while vitals are checked, and within 15-20 minutes we were on our way home. It is normal for kids to wake up crying after being put to sleep, he was a little crabby, we layed around and cuddled the rest of the day, and the next day you never would have even known he had just had surgery. Good luck in your decision.

With the support of your doctor remove absolutely all dairy and see the chiropractor. That was the magical combination for us. Our doctor told us there is a lot of support in European research for removing dairy when there are persistent ear infections. We removed dairy and antibiotics at the same time, saw her again in two weeks, and the infection was gone (with the help of chiro). A few weeks later all the fluid was also gone. We reintroduced dairy every 6 months for 2 years, and each time got an ear infection. Over time, we were able to introduce yogurt and cheese, but to this day, milk gives her an ear infection. But in allergy testing, she shows no allergy to milk.

Hi J.,
Dr. Barbara Malone is the top ear specialist in MN, she has offices in St. Paul and Maplewood. We had tubes put in my daughters ears just before she turned 2. Like your son she was breastfed and had 10 ear infections befre her 2nd birthday. I would highly recommend going with Dr. Malone to get it done.

I haven't ever tried this but a lot of people swear by Chiropractors for ear infections. I used to see one in Bloomington and at that time my daughter was having ear infections, and i talked to the Dr. about it. I considered it but hers actually cleared up on their own.

Valley West Chiropractic Clnc
10700 Normandale Blvd # 1
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55437
Phone: ###-###-####

My son had tubes put in just after he turned a year old. I'm glad we did. He was allergic to penecillin so every time he got an ear infection it took longer to get over it because we had to find a medicine he wasn't allergic to. Since having tubes in he has only had one ear infection and it wasn't as bad as they were before the tubes. He is now two years old and the tubes are still in. They were well worth putting in. Good luck to you.

M.

I would also suggest a chiropractor. My daughter had an ear infection about two weeks ago (it was her second in three months). After a visit to her chiro, she got rid of the infection within 3 days. The problem with antibiotics, is many ear infections are viral, so the drugs don't work anyway...

That said, all three of my cousins children have tubes and they have worked wonders for them. It's really whatever you are more comfortable with.

Here is my daughters chiro (he's a pediatric specialist) if you are interested:

Dr. Deckert
Silver Bell Chiropractic (in Eagan)
###-###-####

Good Luck!

We just took our 17 month old to an Ear Nose Throat specialist to see if he would be a canididate for tubes. He definitely is, as he has had 7 infections in the past year. We're not doing the tubes just yet as the problem seems to have gotten better with the summer months. However, I highly recommend seeing a specialist if you have any concern. An audiologist will test his hearing and a few other things that are important in making your decision about tubes vs. antibiotics vs. chiropractic. Basically, if there is hearing loss then tubes are highly recommended. (BTW, I breastfed for over a year and he got plenty of ear infections anyways.)

2 out of 3 of my sons have had to have tubes, my oldest Josh had tubes when he was 8 months old, he had already had 11 ear infections by then. My youngest (by 2 min) had tubes put in and his adenoids taken out 2 months ago. I can tell you that with Josh since his tubes he hasn't had another ear infection and it's been over 5 years. Justin hasn't had any either but his tubes were just put in so I can't say the long term affects for him. The scariest part for tubes is when they take your baby into the operating room and you can't be there. The actual surgery takes about 10-15 minutes and you usually have your child back in your arms within 20 minutes of them leaving you. I would ask your doctor about a referral to an ENT and they will be able to let you know what is going to be best for Austin. My friend's son is taking an herbal supplement that she heard about from her ENT but he just started it as well so I can't tell you if it works or not. I don't know if any of that helped you but email me if you want more information!

J.,
My now 9 year old had tubes and if I could do it all over again I would have gone with a chiropractor. The tubes were fine but that's pretty invasive in comparison to a chiropractic visit. It may take more than one visit initially but think about this:
Ear infections occurr because there is a build up of fluid behind the tympanic membrane. Our bodies were already given a means in which to help this fluid drain, our eustacian tube. Why not just use what is already there by getting it back into alignment. It's non-invasive, does not require anesthesia, is cheaper and is so much less traumatic to your family.

I'd suggest giving chiropractic a try before tubes.

Good luck!
T.

I agree with Kris S 1000% on Chiropractic. If the ear issues don't improve after a few adjustments then look into tubes. Make sure to find a chiro that has pediatric training, most offices have at least one person that specializes in kids or has experiance helping them to relax so it isn't a scary thing to get done.

My daughter had her first ear infection at 3 weeks old. The doctor couldn't believe it.

By the time she was 9 months old she had had 10 ear infections. She got tubes at 10 months of age and did not get another one until she was 2 1/2 years old. Her tubes are out now and she just got her second ear infection since December of 2004.

I would go see a specialist and see what they have to say. If I had to do it over I would do the same thing. Her last ear infection took 3 different medicines because it wouldn't go away.

You have to do what is right. I know lots of people go to the chiropracter but that was something I chose not to do. I did speak with one though. I opted for tubes.

Good luck with what you do.

My daughter had 3 ear infections in 3 months. I got this book: "No More Antibiotics: Preventing and Treating Ear and Respiratory Infections the Natural Way" from the library that teaches you how to do massage around the ear to help prevent. She hasn't had one in two months now. The book was a great education. There's another version called No More Amoxicillian which is the one I found at the library.

http://www.amazon.com/More-Antibiotics-Preventing-Respira...

I also took her to an Osteopath for one treatment after the third ear infection. She never had an ear infection again and she's now 16 months and has been in day care since she was 3 months old!!

There are other options to Tubes!!

Let me be another one to suggest a chiropractor.

Infants are the easiest to adjust, the doctor will barely have to do anything to manipulate the spine, meaning light touch adjustments. I have been getting both of my children adjusted since the first day we left the hospital. I usually go to the chiropractor before I go to a MD. Usually only one visit can clear up whatever ailment that is taking place at that time.

My son had tubes put in and that is really the only thing that helped! 1 of the tubes recently came out and so far we are still doing ok! I am keeping my fingers crossed! Good luck

I understand your concern. Too many antibiotics and he could become resistant to them and thats not good. The only advice I have is to get the tubes. I'm surprised he doesn't have them already. My experience the the tubes is some gets they work better with than others. They can even fall out sometimes. Breastfeeding is suppose to reduce the risk of ear infections. There are other enviormental causes like smoking and also genetics play a role in ear infections. I'd suggest doing an internet search to find more information about ear infections and causes.

Our youngest son has had tubes and they helped him. He had them at 6 months old and then eventually they do fall out and when that happened he did get infections again but now he has tubes again and is doing great and hasnt had an infection.

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