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Ear infections - update

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Ear infections - update

Postby milesymommy » Thu May 20, 2010 10:32 am

My 8 month old, Josh, just had his 5th ear infection. It was so bad the doctor gave him the antibiotic shot (starts with an r?), and 24 hrs later when there was only slight improvement, we had to do a week of augmentin. The previous ear infection is was a higher than normal does of amoxicillin for his age/weight - the pharmacy called the doctor to ensure he wanted that high of a dose. So we have been referred to ENT, that appointment is at the end of June. I think he will recommend ear tubes.
My 3 yr old, Miles, had ear tubes put in on his first birthday due to 4 ear infections in 6 weeks. The surgery was simple, a fast recovery, and he has not had an ear infection since.
Part of me leans towards ear tubes since we had such great luck with Miles. But part of me wonders if I'm jumping at ear tubes too soon. I know it doesn't always produce instant results like with Miles. Summer is around the corner, which means he's less likely to get colds and thus, less likely to get an ear infection. But part of me wants the ear infections over, and not worry about delayed speech. And I am so sick of him being on antibiotics. He's been sick with other things as well (several upper respiratory infections), so we haven't had a month go by without being on antibiotics. I worry that he's on them so much it will have long term effects.
What are others experiences with ear infections and ear tubes?
********************** Update
Josh just had tubes put in. We had another infection before we saw the ENT. The ENT spent 30 seconds looking at his file and said "yes, he's a candidate for ear tubes". Had the same doctor that did Miles' tonsilectomy last summer, so I was comfortable with it.
They put us on antibiotics until the surgery, but I forgot to take them on vacation 3 weeks ago and didn't restart when we returned. I was hoping we could make it... but he had another ear infection when the docor did the surgery this morning. So he'll be on the antibiotic ear drops for a week now that the tubes are in. Hopefully it's the last ear infection he'll have. He was very cranky after, took a long nap, and is now back to playing.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby aggie95mom » Thu May 20, 2010 02:57 pm

This has to be so hard on you, too. It's never fun to have a sick child. I don't have any experience with tubes and my own children, but speaking as an adult who lived through AWFUL ear infections for years and finally had some tubes put in at 26 years of age just to get some relief during a really bad one, I would personally be all over doing what I could for my child early on in that department.

You are right, though, that with summer around the corner, Josh may get a lot better. Maybe see how these months go and then reassess?
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby trish » Fri May 21, 2010 10:37 am

Rocephin is the shot & they are very painful! My 2nd DD had them a couple times & they made her limp for hours!! Given the choice to have 1 shot & 10 days of antibiotics or those shots 3 days in a row I chose just one shot after how much it hurt her!! She went back & forth between augmentin & omnicef kind of in cycles. UGH!

She had many EI's (with her first at 4 months) & finally at about 18/20 months we got referred to an ENT who tested her hearing & it was fine. They said that since her hearing wasn't affected & that she was getting close to 2 that the EI's should resolve soon so no tubes needed. But my nephew got tubes at 9 months because he'd had many EI's & they could tell his hearing *was* being affected.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby mnmom » Fri May 21, 2010 10:08 pm

Such a balancing act. My second daughter had chronic ear infections and multiple sets of tubes. I think you have a valid concern with the constant antibiotics. My daughter is now almost 21 (yikes)! But, back then they actually put her on a constant dose of antibiotics throughout her first two winters. Really didn't do much, other than cause her to build up a resistance to them. And, her hearing and speech did not seem to be affected, although she was very shy and quiet. She didn't really grow out of the problem until around 9 years old, when they finally removed her adenoids also. I wish we would have started the tubes a whole lot earlier. The good news is she is perfectly healthy now, and didn't have another ear infection after the age of nine.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby tree » Sat May 22, 2010 12:15 am

I can't remember how many ear infections we have had this winter, but it worked out to about 4 months straight with at least one 10 day stretch of antibiotics. I am sick of them.
Her doctor mentioned that that we could think about a consult with the ENT if we wanted to when we went in for the last one. They were not really pushing it either way. We are waiting to see how the spring and summer goes. If she keeps getting them, we will at least talk to the ENT. I am not enthusiastic about the idea of tubes, but we will see how things go. My current plan is to try to ride out the spring and summer without doing anything extra.
Seconding Trish's comment about the Rocephin shots. They do hurt. DD got her dose by IV, but I got one a while ago as a shot. They usually do 1-2 doses of the shot and follow it with a week or so of oral antibiotics. We have also been alternating Augmentin and Omnicef. I strongly prefer the Augmentin. It works a little more slowly for my daughter, but it wreaks a lot less havoc on her diapers/clothes. YMMV on that one.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby jmom08 » Sat May 22, 2010 01:14 pm

I think DS had pretty much constant ear infections between ages 1.5 and 3.5, September through April. We never had to get the shot, though, just second tier antibiotics (I think amoxicillin worked for a year, then had to go to cefnidir). We treated each infection before it got too severe, and we talked about tubes once, but after visiting an ENT, testing DS's hearing when he didn't have an infection, and researching the downsides of tubes (mainly the small risk of issues from scarring), we decided to wait, and things did get better. We got on inhalers & nasonex for the chest infections (possible asthma) that happen with his colds, and it seemed to improve severity of colds generally. But I'm not sure we would have been able to wait if he developed ear issues as young as your little guy. :( Both DH and his younger brother had ear infections and got tubes when they were younger, and as far as I know they both turned out great (no hearing issues, can both scuba dive today, and they handle colds just fine).

I hope your ENT appointment goes well!! Fingers crossed for some help for you.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby milesymommy » Sat May 22, 2010 06:01 pm

Thank you. Fortunately, we give him acidophilus and he doesn't bad diarrhea. We’ve done the shot before for unexplained fever when he was only a few weeks old. This time his leg stayed swollen for almost 12 hours after. The ENT appt isn’t for another month… maybe if we go a month without an infection I’ll wait for the tubes. I am just so sick of ear infections. We also think he might have asthma – every cold is really hard on him and he sounds really mucousy.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby jenmatt1 » Sun May 23, 2010 03:56 pm

from time my DD entered preschool at about 9 months to almost 16 months, she constantly had ear infections. Within a week of ending antiobiotic, ear infections would come back. We finally broke down and put tubes in. 8 months later she has only has 1 ear infection - and it was related to a very bad sinus cold. Knowing what I know now, I would have done tubes early in her ears. I was really afraid of surgery for her but the whole thing was done in about 20 minutes and she was playing by that afternoon.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby lucy » Wed May 26, 2010 04:47 am

Oh how tough, my nephew had alot of ear infections and I know it was not pleasant I hope they go away for you guys soon.
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Re : Ear infections - update

Postby lauchlan » Wed May 26, 2010 11:00 am

We're on our 3rd set of tubes with my daughter and she has moderate hearing loss in her right ear and marginal hearling loss in her left. The doctor says it's from the continuous ear infections she had prior to the tubes, or when the old tubes were clogged and had to be replaced.

The ear is full of all kinds of teeny tiny bones that can get moved around when there is a lot of fluid build up and can cause temporary and/or permanent hearing loss.

I would strongly suggest getting into the ENT ASAP and get those tubes! The surgery is super quick (20 minutes) and my daughter was always recovered by the end of the day.

The constant ear plugs are a PITA, but so worth it. I hate to think how horrible her hearing would be by now if she didn't have them. Not to mention her resistance to antibiotics. Amoxecillin & Zithromax already don't work. Thank goodness she still responds to Omnicef and Augmenten.
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