8 answers

Son Had Ear Pain Tonight, Eight Days After Ear Tube Surgery

My son had ear tubes put in last Monday, after almost six months of chronic ear infections and fluid. Tonight during his bath he poured a cup of water on his head and a lot went in his right ear, so I put swimmer's ear drops in his ears. He had no reaction when I put it in his left ear, but when I put it in his right ear, he screamed and went BALLISTIC! He was inconsolable for the maybe 45 minutes before I laid him down. I had to get him really asleep to be able to lay him down (unusual, as we always lay him down awake), and he started to cry when I laid him down, but settled when he rolled onto his stomach.
I'm worried that he might have an ear infection or that the incision site from his surgery might be infected, he got so upset. On the other hand, he's had no drainage from either ear. Is it possible that after 8 days his incision site is not totally healed, and it just really stung when the alcohol in the swimmers ear drops touched it? Or could it just hurt when the drops (alcohol and white vinegar, basically) get into the middle ear?

What can I do next?

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Hi everyone. I was also told that bath water, and even pool water, was no big deal. My daughter has tubes, as does my nephew--whose parents are docs and friends with their ENT--and they were told the same thing. Ear plugs like the cotton w/vaseline for lakes or rivers or anything that might have bacteria.

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My daughter is 12 and is on her 4th set of tubes. I do not ever put anything in her ear, as it causes her incredible pain. We were always told to keep her ear dry. The fluid you put in his ear drains through the hole the tube makes and will hurt. Try to keep drops out of his ear.

Hi everyone. I was also told that bath water, and even pool water, was no big deal. My daughter has tubes, as does my nephew--whose parents are docs and friends with their ENT--and they were told the same thing. Ear plugs like the cotton w/vaseline for lakes or rivers or anything that might have bacteria.

Hi A.,
My son had tubes FOREVER ago and talking with people who have younger children with tubes now, I don't think much has changed. I agree with the other mom's about calling the nurse or Dr.
We were told to never put any drops in his ears unless the Dr. gave them to us. We were also told to not let any water get in his ears. So at bath time we would use vaseline on cotton balls to keep the water out and swimmers tubes for swimming. They are foamy and you can mash them around a little to make them fit. If he throws too much of a fit I would tell him he couldn't"t swim. That might help make him more agreeable.
Anyway, the vaseline repels the water and you can make the cottons fit pretty well. It's a quick and cheap fix.
My son had tubes when he was 18 months old and is now 15 and has only 2 ear infections since. Hope this helps and good luck!

Do not use swimmer ear drops with children who have tubes. That is very painful for them since they now have an opening. I checked with my dr. when my daughter had tubes put in. It basically burns there ear since there is an opening. Whenever your child complains of pain in his ear you are to use the drops that the dr. gave you after surgery. Occassionally the water will irrate the ear. That is completely normal. The drops will dry the water up but you are to only use the prescription drops that the dr. gave you. If your out I'm sure you could just call your ENT and they'd call you in another prescription. I know we've gone through several bottles because she did get an infection about a month after surgery.

My son will be getting tubes also in another week. They are wonderful though. My dr. also said that they can swim with the tubes as long as it's clear water that you can see the bottom of. So pools are fine as long as there clean but no lake water, etc.

I hope that this helps!

My son got ear tubes when he was 14 months old after numerous bouts with ear infections. NO liquids of any kind could enter his ears after that; we even bought ear plugs for swimming and bathing. The ear plugs are specially made and cost nearly $100, but they are worth it.
I would suggest you see his ENT ASAP!
My son's tubes lasted almost a year and since then he has had only one ear infection (He is now five). Good luck! Call your doctor right away!

Call the physician if he had a reaction like that. First of all, that soon after a surgery you shouldn't put any kind of drops in there unless cleared by the ENT Dr. That is not a normal reaction and he certainly could have clogged off the tube and be reinfected. Don't wait for drainage to show up before you call. Any kind of pain that is inconsolable like that warrants a call to the Dr.

Hey A.,

My son has tubes also and my doctor told us to NEVER use any kind of drop's in his ears after tubes because it goes straight to his eardrum. The only tubes we are to ever use is the drop's they gave us for if he has a little drainage or infection. I think I would take him in and have his ear checked because I would be afraid the swimmer's ear may have maybe been why he screamed. I would at least call the nurse and ask them if they think it's okay. Just a suggestion, but I would not use any other drops in his ear without checking with them first. They should really put a warning on those and the numbing drops.

T. Cogan
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Is he allowed to have ear drops in the ear w/the tube in it? Other than that, I have no idea! Call the ENT to see what he/she says.

Poor little guy (and Mama)!

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