Friday, January 25, 2008

Tubes in the ears

Have any of you had experience with needing tubes in your children's ears? My daughter had double ear infections for about two months, it took 5 different antibiotics before we got rid of her ear infections. Now that the infections are cleared up she isn't in pain anymore, but she still has some fluid in her ears. We went to see the ENT, who said she needed tubes in her ears. My husband and I have mixed feelings about this. Mainly because we had her hearing tested and she didn't appear to have any hearing loss. Also, they said it could slow down her speech development, but I think she is already very advanced there. She is 16 months and can count to 10, knows her ABCs, colors, animals, shapes, etc... We have heard some good experiences and some bad experiences, and really wonder how necessary tubes really are. We would prefer to wait a couple months and see if the fluid will re-absorb on its own, but not if that will cause her harm. Do any of you have experience or insight on this topic?

10 comments:

Tiffany said...

I had a friend who got tubes in his ears...but the reason he told me that he got them was to keep him from getting ear infections (b/c he had them all the time as a baby). That's all I know about it...sorry.

Stephanie said...

Katie, from my experience if an ENT doc recommends it, and the child has recurrent ear infections that don't go away, it's usually a good idea. I worked with a girl whose 2 year old had ear infections constantly, and got tubes put in, and it was seriously a magic cure. He has been a different child (in a good way.) I 've never heard of any problems from them, so I won't comment on the risks. But I do know that there are risks to letting a child have too many ear infections too. It's not good to be on antibiotics for too long. This girl's son had built up resistance to some of the antibiotics, even at his young age. I think you're doing the right thing by researching it and asking lots of questions. Good luck

Claire said...

In our house, we love the marvels of modern medicine but at the same time, believe that there are other methods to healing our bodies also. We tend to try the more natural remedies first, then move on to medical intervention. It sounds like this has been an on going problem for you, so maybe tubes will end up being the ultimate solution, but for the sake of offering other suggestions, I thought I'd share what we've done for Cecelia.

When Cecelia started getting recurring ear infections, including double ear infections (she gets them whenever she is teething...) we started taking her to a chiropractor and we've stopped having problems. He is very gentle with her and it doesn't bother her to be adjusted. We don't give her antibiotics anymore either, because those didn't seem to do the trick and from what my ped. told me, antibiotics are sometimes given to satisfy the parents (so they feel like they are helping their child) but that more often than not, an ear infection will go away on its own just as easily. Another thing we do for her is put garlic oil drops in her ears when they seem to be bothering her. We buy it at our local health food store. I just warm the bottle up in some hot water until the oil inside is a nice temperature, then put drops in both her ears. Its been working wonders for us.

Bethany VH said...

My son, thankfully, hasn't had any ear infections. I did when I was little. I sent you're question to my Mom and this was her reply:

You were on antibiotics for the best part of your young life when you had the tubes put in at 15 mos. After that you were better! No problems. We had a kind of soft stuff we put in your ears when you went into a pool or something. You were already talking and you had NO problems with hearing loss, delayed speech, or anything else (except allergies to cats). They finally came out on their own when you were about 8 or 9. you found them on your pillow, I think. I would do it in a minute all over again. Thank goodness for the surgery! I would be more concerned about delayed speech and hearing problems from years of infected ears! The surgery went fine and they gave you some green liquid to drink to put you out.

The Schacher Family said...

My nephew had it done recently and it has been really good for him and helped him a ton! Before he could hear but to him everything sounded like talking under water.Now he hears just like any of us do.

Bethany VH said...

P.S. I don't remember having the tubes put in my ears. I don't remember having any ear infections, how could I since I was only 15 months old when all this was going on. I do remember when my tubes fell out. I think I woke up and one was on my pillow or something, like my Mom said, and the other just started wiggling it's way out and I took it out. I don't have any hearing or speech problems and I haven't had any ear infections since having the tubes put in my ears.

Liz&Meg said...

My daughter gets ear infections and they keep telling me that if she gets six in six months, then she'll need to see the ENT. I have been antsy because I worry that we're being TOO cautious. As a speech therapist, I see LOTS of kids who had recurrent ear infections who basically spent months of crucial speech development with clogged ears. It's not so much the vocabulary in those cases that is delayed but the speech sounds-you can't understand them because the sounds they're imitating are distorted through fluid-filled ears. So, I agree with Steph, that if they recommended it, there obviously is a reason. And for the majority of these kids, it is a miracle cure!

Jules said...

DD had tubes put in at 4 months after 9 ear infections. DS had tubes put in at 14 months because of recurrent ear infections. Tubes are a miracle cure!!! The only obvious risk is that they put the child COMPLETELY under for the short, uncomplicated surgery. They have to be totally sedated so they don't move and they can insert the tubes. Surgery lasts about 5-10 minutes and you're reunited with your grumpy, post anesthesia baby in no more than 1/2 hour. By 2 hours past surgery, they're running around and forgot all about it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat... wait, I have! 4 more times for DD who's now almost 6. Contrary to previous posts, most tubes only last about a year, depending on how fast your child's ear grows. So you do have to re-do them if they have more recurrent fluid or infection, but again, risks outweight the benefits for us! Hope that helps!

Linz said...

Her speech skills amaze me! She is a little genius!

Joni said...

My son got tubes in his ears at 14 months after having 6 recurring double infections in 8 months.

Miracle! It has changed our lives. He's had them for almost 1.5 years and it has been so nice. In November he got a cold and was really suffering like he had ear infections again. I called the ENT and they said the tube might be clogged, to put some ear drops in it. That did the trick and his ears started leaking and didn't stop for two days. That's kind of gross, but when I saw how much stuff was coming out and realized that without the tubes it would all be causing pressure on his little eardrums, I was so so grateful. He was fine once they started draining.

Some kids' eustascean (sp?) tubes are just too tiny to let the fluid from their ears drain.

I'm pro-tubes.