Chronic Ear Infections - Mequon,WI

Updated on April 15, 2009
J.H. asks from Mequon, WI
30 answers

I have a 6 year old and 4 year old who are in kindergarten and preschool. Like most kids they like to share every germ from school with their baby brother We wash hands and sanitize when we get home but somehow the germs get passed to the baby. Every time the baby gets sick he gets an ear infection. The baby got his 1st ear infection at 2 months old. After 5 infections in 5 months we decided to put tubes in his ears. Since then he has had 3 more. 8 total ear infections. I'm not sure if there is anything else I should be doing. I have been putting the drops in exactly as the doctor orders and they keep coming back. He goes in to have his ears checked and the ears clear up. The drops seem to be working. I am so exhausted and tired of having a sick baby. I don't know if I should be asking more from the doctor. Is there something else that can be done to help him??? Desperately seeking any advice.

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all the responses. Most of them were VERY helpful. I will def look into chiropractors. There are a few more things his ENT specialist wants to look at. He will look at his adenoids and test the fluid in his ears. In Jan we switched his formula to hypoallergenic because he was intolerant to soy and when I nursed him he was intolerant to my milk. I think because of the dairy and soy I ate. He is going through physical therapy right now since sept for torticullis. Basically the only thing I have not tried yet is chiropractors. Someone mentioned cranial sacral therapy. Do I ask my pediatrician or the ENT for a recommendation??? How do I know where to go?? I really appreciate everyones advice;-)

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K.C.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Hi,
I don't know how you feel about chiropracters, but we took my son to one when he had a rough bout with ear infections around the time he was 1. He was on antibiotics 6 times in 4 months for ear infections. We saw an ear, nose, throat doctor and decided at the time to hold off on tubes. Instead, we switched him to soy milk (he was on soy formula as a baby because we read it was more gentle on the stomach and closer to breast milk than regular milk) and took him to the chiropracter. His ear infections cleared up and he has had a total of 2 in the last 3 years. I truly believe that the chiropracter helped clear his infections. I was able to find one in the town we live in who adjusts kids under the age of I think it's 5 for $10. Good luck!

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

J.-
I have an AWESOME chiropractic clinic that offers free consultations for kids under 18. One of the docs there is certified to the ACA for Chiropactic Pediatrics. If you want the infor, please send me a message and I will get it to you. They have 2 clinics. One in St. Louis Park, and one in Shorewood. GOOD LUCK!!!

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D.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Is the baby on a pacifer, suck his thumb, or still on a bottle? Those things can prevent fluid from properly draining from the ear canal (believe it or not) and cause ear infections. See if you can eliminate them.

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C.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

As you know, ear infections occur when fluid gets trapped in the ear and can not drain properly. I would take him to a chiropractor for adjustments.

Also, he may have an allergy. Is he ever around cigarette smoke or pets? It could also be an environmental allergy (dust, ragweed, etc.).

I had chronic ear infections as a kid and off-and-on as an adult. I had a Nurse Practitioner recommend taking an allergy medicine everyday to keep fluid from collecting in my ears. I took a generic version of Claritin, which is available OTC. It worked great for me--no more ear infections. But now I go to a chiropractor every 6-8 weeks with great results--no more drugs. Good luck.

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J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Maybe complain to the preschool. Is the baby still breastfed or how long did that go on to pass your protection to the baby? Maybe require the other kids to wear masks "for fun" around the baby. The good thing is by time this baby gets to school they will have dealt with so many colds etc they may get fewer illness when in school, at least... If they are building immunity to some of the illness, now. PS a child or adult can be a carrier of an illness and be sick from it too. So can not assume the child is over and illness or not ill and not still transfer germs that make the baby sick. There are also vitamin drops you may ask a pharmacist or pediatrician about, like Enfamil.

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L.D.

answers from Madison on

Depending on what state you live in, I would first recommend that you check out an Osteopathic Physician. Osteopaths are medical doctors and are trained in spinal manipulation. You have the best of both world with your manipulation and medical science to back your treatments. You don't mention if you have any animals in your house...could if be allergies to animals or dust maybe?

Good Luck!

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T.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Jamie
My son had alot of ear infections and we put tubes in he still got like four after that so they thought may be the tubes had fallen out when they went in to put a new set in one of the tubes had fallen out but was stuck in his ear causing it to become infected. he is now ten and has not had one since. I also recommended you take him to a pediatric chiropractor and have him adjusted if the fluid is unable to drain do to a kink in his neck this will help a lot. Good luck T.

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S.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,
If your baby has torticollis, you should definitely consider seeing a chiropractor. That is something chiropractors commonly treat, and the ear infections may be related to the torticollis. A chiropractor can help you with both of these, and also many chiropractors do cranial sacral therapy or can refer you to someone who does.
The really neat thing about chiropractors is that they look at why a problem keeps happening. Why the repeated ear infections? Many other kids get exposed to the germs but they don't get sick, so why is your baby having this problem? They find the answer (like torticollis or a neck misalignment for example) and fix the problem and voila - the ear infections stop. I have four kids and none has ever needed antibiotics because we use chiropractic care.
Good luck!

R.B.

answers from La Crosse on

Take him to the chiropractor. My oldest son did this also.. and my grandmother suggested it. I thought she was crazy... taking a tiny baby to the chiropractor! But like usual grandma was right.

As the chiropractor explained it to me is that the fluid drains through the tubes, with a baby being born it can move the neck out of place and pinch the tubes. Also with a baby learning to move... sit up, roll over, crawl and walk they fall and bump thier heads and it moves the neck out of place and it pinches the tubes in the ears, causing a block and the fluid gets trapped in it and then the bacteria starts to feed off the fluid and that causes the infection.

Ask around or go down the yellow pages for chiropractors and call them and see if they work on children.. i have had two different ones and they both work on kids. Amazingly my 22 mo who never sits still will sit there and let him adjust him, the chiro. is very gentle and good with the kids.

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H.E.

answers from Sioux Falls on

This might sound kind of wierd, but my nephew had the same problem for quite some time until his doctor figured out that he was allergic to eggs. When eggs were eliminated from his diet, he got a lot better and the ear infections stopped. Maybe you can see if there is some kind of allergy going on with him.

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with the chiropratic suggestion. It has a much higher success rate than ear tubes...funny how the ENTs don't tell you that. I wish our medical system would quit being so territorial. My son had chronic ear infections from 7mo to 14mo (daycare was his main risk factor) and then we were recommended for ear tubes. I decided to try a chiro first and I am so glad I did! After 3 adjustments the fluid in his ears finally drained and he only had one ear infection in the next 3 year. We kept his nuk and had no problems with it. The chiro never mentioned needing to get rid of it.

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J.P.

answers from Appleton on

I completely understand what you are going through. My son had 20 ear infections within the first 18 months of his life. His first set of tubes were placed at 11 months. Those did not seem to do any good for him. Only bonus is that the fluid than drained making it easy to diagnose yet repeated infections. I finally got fed up and seeked more information and help. I took my son the the Childrens Hospital in Milwaukee and within 10 tens they had him in to remove his adenoids. I can honestly say that he has not had an ear infection since ( now he is almost 3 1/2 yrs old)It may not be the answer but it is something to consider. I am very glad I did. He ended up having a greater than 50% blockage in his ear canal that did not allow fluid to drain properly. Even though i believed he woud be over the ear infection he was never completely over them due to some residual fluid staying behind. Like I said he has been healthy for over a year and a half (it willbe 2 years in July)
I wish you the best of luck... I UNDERSTAND WANTING YOUR CHILD HEALTHY!!!

Jen

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M.K.

answers from Sheboygan on

Has the pediatrician ever cultured his infections? My neighbors little boy has had chronic ear infections even with tubes too. Turns out at one point he had MRSA infections (so standard methicillan meds won't work) and now he has a fungal infection, which obviously needs an antifungal, not an antibiotic. Hope that helps!

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C.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Poor baby! Has your doctor had other tests run to see if you can find another cause for it (sinuses, allergies, etc). We don't have this problem so this isn't an answer from personal experience but at a talk for a moms group, my pediatrician said some of his patients have luck with chiropractic. Also I know Vitamin D drops are important for immunity fighting in general, especially if he has been breast fed (there isn't much vitamin D in breast milk). One mom suggested garlic oil drops. The drops your doctor recommended, are they antibiotic drops or something else? Have you don't any antibiotics? Your message didn't say. I know many doctors overprescribe them but if it never gets knocked out with a full course of antibiotics then he just never got rid of it (and it was like 1 big ear infection). I can't even imagine what this must be like for you, eand him. Good luck!

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L.M.

answers from Omaha on

My daughter is 4 years old and was having many ear infections. She had tubes put in when she was 10 months. She continued to have problems. Last year she had tubes put in again and her adenoids taken out. There has been a big difference. Sure she gets sick but it doesn't seem to get all trapped up in her head like it used to. She hasn't had an ear infection since. My suggestion to you, would be to see an ENT.

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S.Z.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.. My daughter was having frequent ear infections & the antibiotics were taking such a toll on her. The Dr recommended tubes, but first we tried Cranial Sacral Therapy with a pediatric chiroprator-there were NO adjustments to her neck or back-just a light accupressure type massage on scalp & around ears. Around this time, her pediatrician swtiched her (at 10 months old) to Pediasure instead of formula. She drank it from a sipper. =) I think she had a reaction to the formulas (we tried many) and I think her allergic-type reaction was causing the ear infections.
She is now almost 9 years old & we haven't had any more ear infections, avoided the tubes, and also no problem with allergies.
I suggest looking into the Cranial Sacral therapy & possible allergies.
I pray for your babies health and happiness. =)
-S.

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R.S.

answers from Des Moines on

My 8-mo-old got her first "ear infection" (I should qualify that we never really went in to have it diagnosed as such, but she had a cold for about 2 weeks and then woke up in the night crying in pain. Logic told us it must be her ears. I think her dad even felt she cried more if he laid her on that side. So we were calling it this by our own gut feeling) about a week ago. A friend recommended to me an ear drop that I could buy from my chiropractor's office. So I tried it. Every time I put this drop in the baby's ear, she settled down and quit crying. I really think it is a great thing. I had researched natural remedies for ear infections and this drop seems to have the very things that were most recommended. I really think it works. It is called D-89-1 ear drops by Dynamic Nutritional Asociates out of Chelan, WA. If you can't find it by that, let me know. I can get more info.

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H.E.

answers from Bismarck on

Hi J.! I understand your frustration! I also have an 8 month old, who I just started taking to the chiropractor for for his Torticullis. While I was there the Dr. had a handout available for parents who were struggling with children who had chronic ear infections. The handout basically said, "Stop using antibiotic after antibiotic. Bring your baby to your chiropractor to get adjusted." Have you ever thought about that? It could be worth looking into at this point!
Good Luck!
H.

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C.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

J.---I sympathize with your exhaustion and helpless feelings and it sounds like you are doing the all the right things. As a baby/toddler I was quite sick with many ear infections, tubes, colds---you name it. I would suggest that you look into 2 things---food allergies and the health of his tonsils. Best of luck to you and don't forget to let friends/family help you take some breaks.
C.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I second the osteopathic physician comment. While chiropractors can be great, there is so much variability, it can be very difficult. With the osteopath, they know everything a chiropractor knows and more since they are a medical doctor as well. They have the initials DO after their name which means they went to an accredited Osteopathic medical school for 4 years and are licensed to practice and prescribe medications in all 50 states. If you want a Cranial Sacral therapist, go with someone who has trained with Upledger Institute, they have rigorous training and practice with less than a nickel's weight in pressure (very gentle). Hope this helps, feel free to email if I can help more ( I am a medical student with a background in alternative medicine).

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K.M.

answers from Milwaukee on

I agree that you should look into a chirpractor and see an ENT to check on the ears a little closer. But I also suggest checking food allergies. My girls suffered horribly from ear infections and it was an intolerance to cow's milk.

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M.W.

answers from St. Cloud on

Take your kids to the chiropractor. It has worked EVERY TIME for ours!!!

My daughter even had a really bad double ear infection one time. I filled the perscription but then went straight home and made an appointment at the chiropractor for that evening. Well, when I took her back in to the regular doc for a checkup later that week, the doc said "Oh the antibiotics are working really well, keep it up." SHE NEVER GOT ANY ANTIBIOTICS!!! I threw them away!

As soon as our kids start tugging at their ears or not sleeping as well or just crabby, we take them in and get them adjusted. There is almost an instant difference in their behavior!!!

Find a chiropractor that takes extra training in infants though.... Good luck!

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T.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Have the doc check tonsils and atnoids,they can cause issues for the ears causing ear infections. Our friends had this issue with their kids and once they were removed, it was all good.

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S.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,

My daughter has frequen ear infection, 8 in a row probably, and her ears wouldn't clear in between them. The we decided to try the chiropractor, we had weekly appointments for her for about a month (that was in the month of November). Since then she hasn't had any infection for a year and a half (not even during winter). Her ears cleared too, but not tight away, only after we took her with us to Dominican Republic for a week and let her be on the hot sand, that's when her fluid started to come out.
Of course she gets sick once in a while, but no ear infection anymore. The chiropractor may nor cure the ear infections, but I think it's a good prevention.

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J.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,

As I have mentioned on previous posts about ear infections, my son has had 2 sets of tubes and was still getting infections. The tubes would work pretty well but kept on falling out within a year. This time around I really didn't want to put him through the surgery again so I took him to a chiropractor for children. They adjust kids as young as a few months. This helped quite a bit but didn't completely get rid of the problem. We also switched our son to rice milk instead of cows milk (per the chiropractor suggestion) and it has worked like a charm. My son has significantly less congestion and has not had an ear infection since Jan. He has had a cold a few times since then but the congestion has not been as bad.

The rice milk has the same amount of calcium and vitamins as regular milk and actually has less sugar. I asked my pediatrician about it to and she was fine with him being on it. It is more expensive than regular milk but is much cheaper than all the doc visits and surgery.

If you want more info about the chiropractor, email me. We see Dr. Hahn in Cottage Grove.

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D.R.

answers from Sheboygan on

Try a chiropractor. It worked for both of my kids!

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi,
You might try switching formula - could be allergic to something triggering infections. Also, when you switch to milk, try rice milk - it causes less mucus.

My son has Down syndrome and he had a lot of infections. We also use a tuning fork to help drain his sinus and ears of fluid. If you want more information, email me at [email protected]____.com daughter also had a lot of infections and we found out that she had significant reflux. The acid in the reflux was causing inflammation in the eustatian tubes so they weren't draining the way they should. I would also ask about this.

Good luck with everything. I know how frustrating it is.

K.

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S.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

I totally agree with the chiropractor and getting rid of the nuk/pacifier if he's using one. Our peds wanted to do surgery to put in tubes. Instead we got rid of the nuk, went to the chiro and guess what no more ear infections and no surgery! He's never had another infection since. Oh, and I know this sounds weird, but my kids would have a strange smell in their ears so I knew they were getting an infection. Happened every time! Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Omaha on

I had the same thing with my daughter. Each year she would have 10 to 15 a year. Each year they would say, next year if it happens we will do tubes. They finally did tubes, which helped some, but still so many ear infections. Then my sister asked me why I hadn't taken her to the chiropractor. I thought that was crazy, but I had tried EVERYTHING. The last infection was TERRIBLE. They couldn't get rid of the infection with drops or antibiotics, so they put a cotton tube in her ear (which HURT) and I put the drops on it so they would stay longer. I went to the chiropractor and didn't say anything except that she had many ear infections. He felt her and said, "is it on the right side?" It was. He cracked her neck and within a half hour TONS of stuff came running out of her ear. She has had 1 ear infection since!!! I know it doesn't sound right, but it worked for my daughter. I wish I would have done it sooner!

Good Luck!!

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C.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would try a pediatric chiropractor as several people have suggested and then an ENT if that doesn't work. My son is 12 and the chiropractor wasn't a common option when he was an infant, but I've heard good things about it since and my boys and I see one now. My son had tubes put in at 15 months and I wish we had done it sooner. I know people have different stories and opinions about the tubes (someone was trying to talk me out of it at a funeral!), but they were a lifesaver for us.

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