Water in the Ears

Updated on May 20, 2010
L.P. asks from Wylie, TX
10 answers

My 9 month old was recently diagnosed with having water in his ears. He initially had an ear infection and has finished up the antibiotics. At the follow-up visit, he was diagnosed with the water in his ears and the doctor said that there is nothing that she can give him. Has anyone else experienced this? Do you kinow if it is painful? His equlibrium is off because he is very unsteady when he walks and he wakes up at night crying and holding the side of his head and sticking his finger in his ear.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all of your advice. I guess the fluid is leaving because he is walking straighter and is back to sleeping through the night!

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answers from Dallas on

if it's water behind the eardrum, then a decongestant MIGHT help. Actually sometimes they can take 3 weeks to start wroking. But I just noticed baby is 9 months old- don't know if there area any decongestants for kids that small.

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answers from St. Louis on

My son just got his 2nd round of antiobiotics and I was told he had fluid in his ears and well as an infection. Did the doctor say it was water or fluid? I asked the doctor what would cause the fluid and she said sometimes it's a result of allergies. Does your baby seem to have alleriges (runny eye/nose/etc)? If so, you may be able to put him on some type of allergy medication (Zyrtec). I wondered if the fluid in my son's ears were causing him pain or maybe itching because he is constantly pulling at and digging into his ears. But then again, his could be the pain from the infection as well. I'd like to hear what others say about this too!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think your baby needs to be seen by an ENT. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I am constantly having this problem and I am finishing up a round of antibiotics also. It does hurt and my ears have swelled up pretty bad. As for them not being able to do more I don't know. I was told by my dr that I have small ear canals so I will keep having this problem.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Have you been to see a pediatric ENT? If not, call Dr. Michael Biavati at ###-###-####. He is wonderful!!!!



answers from Dallas on

I would say that you need to go to an ENT. He will most likely give you a decongestant usually Rescon GG. It is over the counter but they keep it behind the counter a the pharmacy. Since your child is so young the ENT would have to tell you the amount that he would need to take. He also may need to be evaluated for tubes.


answers from Boca Raton on

My neighbors kids both got ear infections a lot.. They both had to have tubes put in there ears.. No problems since. They went to ENT specialist...
If it's "actual" water in the ear, I always put alcohol on a cotton ball and put it in my ear.. The alcohol sucks out the water and has worked like a charm for me personally...



answers from Dallas on

I wish I had more time to respond but if you look up my old responses you will see more details but two things come to mind:
95% of ear infections are a food intolerance so you may look to get that tested. I have a few referrals for you if you are interested. It cleared my babies up and with NO surgery.
Also, while their is fluid on the ear you can try to use some EAR DROPS which is a combination of garlic and some flower that is a natural antibiotic to avoid other antibiotics. I get them at a health food store in McKinney.

I hope this helps.....



answers from Dallas on

Water in the ears is common in infants after ear infections. Their eustachian tubes are very narrow, so its hard for fluid to drain. It will happen on its own eventually. Unfortunately, it can be painful in the meantime. If it really seems to be bothering him, you can use baby ibuprofen or acetaminofen.

In my opinion, there's no need to rush out to see an ENT. Ear tubes have their own risks, and aren't necessary if this is his first ear infection. Each of my kids had 2 ear infections (with some lingering fluid afterwards) as infants, but the ear infections stopped after their first birthdays.



answers from Houston on

Persistent fluid in the ears is a common problem in babies and toddlers. Their Eustachian Tube is short and horizontal so it doesn't drain the way an adult's can. Some children have a more "defective" tube than others and often leads to repeat ear infections. There likely ISN'T much she can do but wait and see for a 9 month old.

I would be willing to bet that he developed another ear infection as soon as he finished the antibiotics. There can be residual fluid that is not infected, but if it never drains another infection can develop quickly. The fluid can also cause discomfort as it interferes with their hearing, can cause equilibirum problems, and pressure on the ear drum which is painful.

When I was "shopping" for an ENT, I found that no one was really interested in seeing us until our pediatrician had diagnosed and treated three ear infections within six months. It however, only took us three months to see FIVE ear infections.

If you do manage to see and ENT, they will evaluate for drain tube placement and/or address the problem of seasonal allergies. If they decide to treat for allergies with zyrtec, singulair, etc. educate yourself on the off-label side effects. My daughter had night terrors, behavior changes, and a hard time getting to sleep when she was on either of those medications. I even tried them at different times to ensure it wasn't just a development issue.

The ear tubes (she is now on her second set) have made such a difference in her mobility and her language development. There are plenty of alternative treatments available--supplements, chiropractic, dietary--but just like tubes, there isn't a one size fits all answer. I was extremely resistant to the surgery the first time, but I was the one pushing the doctor the second time.

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