11 Month Old Getting Tubes -- Bad Idea? or Normal?

Updated on October 16, 2008
S.B. asks from Springtown, TX
42 answers

My 11 month old is on the track for tubes in the ears. Is this common, or can the ear infections be caused by normal allergies? Are tubes the only way to go? We have done way too many rounds of antibiotics at this point, I am ready to move forward with anything that works!

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A.M.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Tubes are definately the best way to go. Antibiotics affect baby's teeth and also can cause super bugs later. Yes, the infections are possibly due to allergy, but because the eustachian tubes are too small, they do not drain properly thus allowing fluid to build up in the ear and then to become infected. Both of my children had tubes put in as babies, and we didn't have anymore infections and I had happier babies. Good Luck

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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

My son had them at 10 months and I am so glad we did it. Everhthing went great and he has not had one ear infection since we got them put in. Best of luck.

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V.T.

answers from Dallas on

OK, I only read a handful of posts, but I HIGHLY recommend the tubes. My son got his at 10 months of age and he was a totally different baby, for the better. He got an infection at 7 months of age, and it essentially never went away; he would clear the infection with antibiotics but the fluid would not drain out, and he would immediately re-infect. The audiologist also explained that besides infections, the danger of leaving the fluid in the ears is the way it negatively impacts speech development (can't hear well around the fluid) and it can impair motor development if it messes with their balance (fluid on the inner ear, which controls balance and equilibrium; like have you ever had swimmers ear?). Anyway, after tubes, he didn't have a single other infection. It was more than worth it!

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

95% of ear infections are due to a food intolerance. I HIGHLY recommend you get a second opinion from Dr. Bain in Frisco. She is a MD but she uses alternative remedies and nutrition to reduce antibiotics and invasive procedures. My girls were having ear infections last year; I took them to her for a second opinion. She said to start she would have them tested for food intolerance (she only uses Immuno Laboratories---they can reproduce the results unlike other labs and they guarantee the results will work or they refund you your money--they are on our insurance too). We eliminated the offending foods for four months and have added everything back in except the highly reactive ones. To this date we have not had one ear infection between both children. Check out her website:

www.healthykidspediatrics.com

If you have other questions....just let me know if I can help.

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R.H.

answers from Dallas on

"From: Penny L Date: Tue. Oct. 14, 2008
Try taking cow milk out of your child's diet, it is a heavy allergen and the root cause of may ear infections; upper respiratory infections and intestinal issues. Pay attention to ingredients in all foods, ALL cow milk should be avoided, including cheeses. Casien is the allergen and after 7 days your child should be much improved and after 14 days, the infections should stop. Search the internet for info on cow milk and allergies, you will find tons of info. There are many alternatives to cow milk available in most grocery stores: Rice Dream rice milk and canned goat milk (available in the evap milk section, dilute with filtered water 1:1 for whole milk, 2:1 for 2%). If all else fails, the tubes can be a good thing, just risky, and possibly NOT the best route if it is a milk allergy. Good luck."

Great post! I just wanted to 2nd the idea of trying to go dairy-free and also add an alternative source for goat's milk (because the canned is really kinda yucky IMHO...):
http://www.realmilk.com/where5.html#tx

and edited to add: The no-dairy route is something you might want to try even if you do decide to go with a chiropractor or the tubes; there are other manifestations of dairy intolerance/allergy in addition to ear infections, none of which is as easy to deal with as simply eliminating dairy!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

My son had 10 or 11 ear infections from the age of 2 weeks, he was constantly on antibiotics and I was so worried. We ended up getting tubes at 5 months and I was scared because he was so young. But he has not had one infection since, I would definitely recommend the tubes.

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

Advise from doctors about this changes all the time but for my son (now 18) he had to have tubes in at 5 months and they were great. I suspect it was allergies since he didn't stop having ear infections but unlike all the suggestions he wasn't on cows milk and I was Breastfeeding exclusively. I know, what makes them so great if the infections didn't stop?! Like you, I had gone the extra mile with antibiotics and even maintanence ones. What hurt me the most was the unrelenting ear pain for my son. When we got the tubes in the min he got an infection the inflamation just poured out of his tubes/ears where as before it would have built up and hurt like crazy! I didn't have to guess what was wrong and we imediatly went on the antibiotics but without the ER visit or the sleepless night. His tubes never fell out and had to be removed at 2 1/2. Not much of an ordeal but never had to have them again.
Good luck,
B.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

My grand daughter had tubes put in at 9 months & one fell out about 3 months later. The doctor wanted to do it again & this time using a more longer lasting type tube but my daughter had to pay for it all over again! Had he told them there were different types of tubes she would have opted for the longer ones the first time. It seemed stupid to me to go thru all that & have to do it again. Anyway, one is still in I guess but she always has a runny nose due to allergies I guess. So I suggest trying other ways first, like the milk & the chiropracter that others suggested. Then see what happens.

B.B.

answers from Dallas on

After my son had so many ear infections I asked his doctor about tubes. They actually recommended waiting til he was a little older, to see if he still had problems. I started tracking, though, and noticed that every time my son was teething, he got an ear infection. I only realized this when a friend told me her daughter had an ear infection every time she was teething. I started to think back, and it was also true for my son. He has 4 molars coming in now, and he did get an ear infection. My brother and my husband both had several sets of tubes when they were little, so I know they can fall out and have to be redone. I decided to wait on tubes for my son.

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S.C.

answers from Little Rock on

mu daughter had about 10 ear infection by the time she was 15 months old so I asked our pediatrician about it. He said he is reluctant to put them in unless we feel like the ear infections could cause hearing loss. He said it is a surgery with risks, like any other, and that they can fall out and have to be replaced and leave large holes in the ear drum. We decided not to do it. At about age 18 months she seemed to grow out of it. I think she has had like 1 or 2 since then. By the way,if you go to an ENT they are going to tell you to do it. It's kinda there job and how they make money. They don't turn down work.

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K.E.

answers from Dallas on

Yes tubes at that age are totally normal if he has lots of ear infections.

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

I would take action sooner rather than later. My sister-in-law waited too long for my nephew and delayed his speech. He's now 4.5 yrs and starting to catch up to his peers.

I saw the suggestion to try goat milk. My son was just diagnosed with milk protein intolerance. He is only on breast milk at 2 months, so I am changing my diet. The dietician said I can only have rice or almond milk. The goat milk might not make a difference if it's that. No yougurt, butter, whey, or other milk products can be used.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

I questioned myself and several doctors and nurses before my son had tubes put in. It made such a big difference! He has very bad seasonal allergies and they have gotten better. When the air quality is very poor now he doesn't suffer as long. He can get over it quickly. We had my son's tubes put in at 2 1/2.....why did we wait? He began to talk better and overall is a happier child now. I'm so glad that we did it!

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M.P.

answers from Dallas on

My son had tubes put in at 7 months and they worked WONDERS!! It seemed as though he lived on antibiotics before but he is 5 now and hasn't had an ear infection since! ..ok he's had one but nothing like they were before : )

Good luck!

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A.R.

answers from Dallas on

My little girl went through the exact same thing....round after round of antibiotics. We tried several alternative solutions, chiro, etc, but in the end finally got tubes. It has been a miracle. She no longer cries when I lay her down, she hasn't been sick since we had them, and overall her demeanor is happier. We had it done when she was 15months, she is now 19 months. The procedure is so easy, I think it is harder on the parents because they can't eat before they go under and they get hungry and they don't understand. I was really against doing the tubes, but in the end I am very happy that we did. Good luck!!

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

Go with the tubes, it'll be a huge relief for you and your baby. I have several close cousins who had them growing up and now their children are having to get them put in too. My cousins remember the horrid pain they would be in from the infections and are happy to do what they can to relieve future pain and other possible hearing issues that can develop as a result of multiple ear infections.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

If you are truly ready to try anything, might I suggest giving chiropractic care a try. I cant promise that it will help all children, but I have heard great stories about many children that avoided tubes through proper chiro care. I cant explain perfectly well how it works, but the reason kids get infections is because their eustacian(sp?) tubes are not draining the fluid in the ear, so it builds up, and bacteria grows...thus infection. Chiro care is supposed to help with alignment, including the eustacian tubes, so that things will drain properly, so there is no chance for the bacteria to grow. Really, it is worth a shot. Before I knew about chiro care, my 2 oldest had tubes, and while it did help, and turned out well, I have heard of stories that it did not (my niece), so I would encourage seeking out more options first. Good luck! ~A.~

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A.C.

answers from Lubbock on

Hi Shanna. My little boy (almost 18 months) had recurrent ear infections from the time he was 6 months until 1 year. The last ear infection he had was 6 weeks and he was on an antibiotic the entire time w/o any relief or resolution of the ear infection. I was at wit's end. I have the best baby but at night he wouldn't sleep b/c he hurt. Well, we had an ear tube put in his right ear (left ear never was infected) and have had no trouble since (8 months). He was always a good eater but after the tube he just eats fantastically. His pediatrician did say that allergies can cause ear infections but for some kids the bacteria just sits in the ear and cannot "drain". I know it's a tough decision and I was a complete nervous wreck before the surgery but it took all of 10 minutes and he was a little fussy coming out of anesthesia (normal and worse usu. for boys) and after his nap - perfect. Now, we're battling recurrent strept throat...
Good luck!

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V.A.

answers from Amarillo on

I don't know about an 11mo old, but my oldest daughter had tubes put in her ears at 5 and they were a godsend. She had ear infections from the time she was 6weeks old and didn't stop til she got the tubes, then she never had another one. She took every antibiotic ever made in that time period, and I believe to this day (she's 18 now) that she has an immunity to some of those antibiotics. If your doctor is reccomending it, I would see an ENT and see what they say, but I think those tubes are the best.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Shanna, I haven't read the other posts, but just wanted to share that my son had tubes put in at 11 mos and while they may not be the only way to go, they have been extremely worth it in my opinion! My son had several ear infections and since he had the tubes put in the first week of August of this year he has not had one ear infection and has only had one cold, which in my experience with the cold post-tubes he has slept easier and recovered from it quicker than colds and infections he had pre-tubes. The doctor will tell you that tubes do not prevent ear infections, and I believe it, but in almost 5 months my son has not had another one and he had several between 6-11 months old. My son is in daycare and was back in his class the day after tubes. Good luck!

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S.P.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter was 10 months old when she got her tubes, and it's the best thing we could have ever done for her. Without a doubt the best thing. She immediately felt relief, and had no more rounds of antibiotics from her ears. She was instantly more balanced on her feet and paid better attention to things around her (probably because she could hear everything clearly for the first time in her life). Yes, it sucks to hand your baby over to a nurse and know they are going to sleep. But, they only use a gas anesthestic (no needles) and the procedure takes about 15 minutes. We didn't even have time to get a soda out of the machine before she was done. If you decide to have this done, you will wonder why you waited so long!

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E.H.

answers from Dallas on

I have no doubt that tubes will help but please please try the chiropracter before you try that route. My daughter (2 yrs) had ear infections once a month until we went to the chiro and she hasn't had one since (that was 6 months ago). My oldest daughter who is now 9 also had ear troubles. I took her to a D.O. to have some manipulations done instead of more antibiotics and she too was cured by just the small movements he made. She was 11 months old at the time and never had another infection after those visits. Each one had to be seen only twice and all was well. So, I beg you, before you put your precious little one under the knife, please try these other options. What could it hurt to try one more thing before putting him to sleep and adding so much worry to your plate? If you have any questions, let me know, I'm glad to help :)

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P.L.

answers from Dallas on

Try taking cow milk out of your child's diet, it is a heavy allergen and the root cause of may ear infections; upper respiratory infections and intestinal issues. Pay attention to ingredients in all foods, ALL cow milk should be avoided, including cheeses. Casien is the allergen and after 7 days your child should be much improved and after 14 days, the infections should stop. Search the internet for info on cow milk and allergies, you will find tons of info. There are many alternatives to cow milk available in most grocery stores: Rice Dream rice milk and canned goat milk (available in the evap milk section, dilute with filtered water 1:1 for whole milk, 2:1 for 2%). If all else fails, the tubes can be a good thing, just risky, and possibly NOT the best route if it is a milk allergy. Good luck.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

My little one started getting ear infections all the time too. She was on round after round of antibiotics. I finally said, enough is enough. I started researching on the internet and took a shot in the dark and took her completely off dairy. It has been 8 months now, not one ear infection, nor congestion or sinus issues. It has been amazing.

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D.P.

answers from Dallas on

It is a very common procedure. Tubes will help. My son had them put in at 11 months as well. He had ear infections one after another continuously starting at 4 months. We would finish a round of antibiotics and start another infection. Once he had the tubes put in, the ear infections stopped completely. Surgery is harder on the parents than the little ones themselves. It was a good decision for him. As for the allergies - He has allergies to this day (4 yrs. old). He takes Flonase and liquid Albuterol during the Fall/ Winter months. It's all connected for him. Now......I want to tell you something great we found after his tubes fell out (at 2 yrs. old). His tubes fell out and the ear infections came back. The doctor wanted to put a second set a tubes in and remove his adnoids as well. But first, he wanted us to try this device call "The Ear Popper" (go to www.earpopper.com). It is a device that pops their ears and in turn, releases the fluid. It is easy to use and costs us $300 about two years ago. IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY because my son did not have to have a second set of tubes put in or his adnoids removed because of this device!!!! We popped his ears everyday, and his ears cleared up. When you push the button, air flows out. You hold one nostril with your finger, and place the ear popper to the other nostril. The child takes a drink of water (we used juice too) and holds it in his/her mouth. The parent pushes the button (with air flowing into the one nostril), the child swallows the water, and the ear pops. You do this for both sides. I know it might be hard for his age, but if you can get your little guy to swallow on command, it would be worth it. Even if he needs tubes now, you can always consider this for the future. It was a great investment for us. We still use it occasionally as a preventative measure. Good luck :).

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

We we also hesitant but our pediatrician explained that it's super simple (it was), he'll be fine (he was) and it will keep him from getting chronic infections (it did). The fear is that a resistance to antibiotics will build up. It's way more important for antibiotics to work when you need them fro something big. The procedure took 15 minutes and other than being cranky when he woke up from the anesthesia, he was out and about that afternoon. J.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son got tubes at 6 months, and it did help...in one ear. He got an infection right away in the other ear. You might try keeping him in for a few days after the procedure to avoid that, if possible. He ended up in speech therapy three years later. The therapist said that with the ear problems, we all sounded like we were talking under water to him.

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T.W.

answers from McAllen on

Hi Shanna, I would go ahead and get the tubes, too many antibiotics is not good for him and the more infections he has can cause balancing problems and speech delays. I would go to an audiologist or ENT and see what they think and if they say he should have them, then I wouldn't have any qualms about getting them, they will help tremendously.

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H.D.

answers from Dallas on

An ear infection is an infection regardless of it's cause. Allergies cause congestion and that is probably the root cause of the infections as the congestion isn't able to drain normally down the eustacian tubes leaving a nice warm, moist environment in which bacteria thrive. My son had tubes after multiple infections...we just couldn't get the fluid to completely drain after the antibiotics and he would get repeat infections. That was the best decision we've ever made for him. Not a single ear infection since the tubes! It is a simple procedure (less than 5 min), although it is not completely without risk (no surgery is). I have a 2 year old son who has escaped ear issues (he tends to get pneumonia instead!), but if he had the repeat ear infections I would not hesitate to do the tubes. Better that than all of those antibiotics and subsequent scar tissue that can build up on the ear drum potentially causing hearing loss to some degree. My sister in law waited until my nephew was 5 to get the tubes (and adenoids)hoping he would outgrow them, but he never did. Some kids are just anatomically predisposed to them. He had to go back in and have tonsils out a couple of months ago for abnormally large tonsils and multiple strep infections. good luck on your decision.

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K.E.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter who is now 4 had tubes put in when she was 18 months. Before the tubes, she had an ear infection everytime she had a virus which seemed like all of the time. She has had one ear infection since. I think it was well worth it.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I know more people who've gotten tubes done for their kids then not. It's very common. My son has severe allergies that have caused asthma as well. Thankfully his ear infections caused by it have been spaced out just enough to where they don't think he needs tubes, or not yet anyway. I would get a 2nd opinion if it makes you feel more comfortable with the decision.
My 3yr old needed a circumcision revision. I got FIVE opinions before I was comfortable with it. He had the surgery yesterday and is doing great.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Both of my boys got tubes this past year and the only regret that I had was waiting so long for my then 4 year old to get his. My younger boy was a little over a year when he got his and he has not been sick ONE time since then and he now sleeps 12+ hours staright every night without any issues. My oldest had food allergies and seasonal allergies and I kept thinking that if we treated the allergies then we wouldn't need to get the tubes...DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE I DID! He was sick and miserable for at least 6-12 months before I finally gave in and scheduled him for tubes. He has a small degree of permanent hearing loss now and speech problems because I kept thinking that surgery was not the way to go. Sometimes surgery can be a blessing! Good luck!

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A.E.

answers from Amarillo on

My younger son, now 23, had lots of ear infections, allergies,etc. The Dr. recommended getting tubes, and my dad, whose opinion I greatly value) was just totally against it, he felt the Dr. was just trying to make money. We decided against tubes.

Now, older and wiser, I wish we had done it. I think my son didn't hear clearly, as his ears were always clogged up. He mumbles a bit, and doesn't enunciate clearly. He honestly couldn't hear us clearly, and couldn't hear himself clearly.

Google infant brain development, and read up on it. Infant brains must hear, see, and experience many things, and build and connect branches so their little brains can learn and grow. You'll be astounded, and it will help you make the best decision for you and for your child.
A.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

Just because something like tubes has become the "norm" for small children, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. My personal preference is to wait until the child is 3 or older before deciding about tubes.

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K.D.

answers from Dallas on

As an audiologist, tubes are great if used when appropriate

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Consult with a good nutritionist or naturopathic doctor before going the surgery/anesthesia route. I know of several if you want a recommendation.

Blessings,

[email protected]____.com

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K.F.

answers from Dallas on

My son had tubes put in his ears after countless ear infections and numerous rounds of antibiotics and let me say, it is the best thing we ever did. It was like a miracle after that. He slept through the night with no problems, did not get sick near as often and we even noticed that he began to talk more. I highly recommend getting them!

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

Tubes are awesome! Both my kiddos needed tubes and it greatly improved their health. The antibiotics were so hard on their systems, and they recover so much faster now if they happen to get an ear infection. Dr Mehendale is a wonderful ENT if you need one.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter got tubes at 12 months old and I wish I had done it sooner. She was on antibiotic for recurrent ear infections every 3 weeks. I missed tons of work. After the procedure she was like a new kid. I didnt realize how sick she was until we did it. Also the ENT dr said she had such a bad infection behind her ear drum that antibiotics would have never taken care of it. She did have one or 2 minor ear infections afterward, but her ear drained because of the tubes and she got over these last 2 infections without a problem. She is 8 now and is great. Godd luck. There are so many different opinions on this subject however this is what worked for us.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Shanna,
My son had tubes put in at 11 months old. I too was very nervous but it was wonderful!! The tubes help so much! He did not have anymore ear infections. In fact, he took his first steps later in the afternoon after having them put in first thing in the morning. It helped his balance tremendously. Good luck! I think you will be happy with the result.

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V.P.

answers from Dallas on

Good Idea!!! Both of my sons had bad ear infections and were always on medicine. After the tubes were put in, they never had anymore ear infections, and eventually had their tonsils removed too. The have been better ever since.

V. Perry

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Tubes are the best way to go my youngest had ear infection after ear infection put the tubes in and i don't think that he had another one

good luck
sehlley s

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