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Thread: Childhood Ear Infections

  1. Default Childhood Ear Infections

    Ear infections in children are quite common, as the eustachian tubes which connect the middle ear and throat are quite horizontal in children, whereas they are more vertically sloped in adults.

    Thus, it is easier for mucus to clog the tubes in children, as they do not drain into the throat as well.

    Yet, in children, it is especially important that conductive hearing losses caused by chronic ear infections are treated medically, as this can lead to many problems in audiotory development, scarring on the eardrum and middle ear bones, etc.

    Any parent suspecting ear infections should have their child seen by their pediatrician, or better yet, a pediatric ENT.

  2. #2

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    Great advice. Children are suseptable to all types of infections, viruses and medical conditions. The best advice anyone could give someone who's child may have a medical problem is get them to the pediatrician.

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    And make sure your paediatrician has good reasons to assume that the problem is "Glue Ear". Yes it is the most common problem, but just because it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck that is not a good reason to leave it alone and assume all will be well, or to whack some grommets in and see what happens. It's still a mystery what is wrong with my ears, but I'd been failing hearing tests for over 6 years before anyone figured hearing aids were going to be important!

    I never have regained my hearing, in fact I now have a combined loss of conductive and Sensori-neural and I am fairly sure my notes still diagnose me as having glue ear that I will "grow out of". If it persists then lean on them for a proper work-up. Other things are rarer but not impossible.

    I would be interested in research papers on how important the treatment is, however, as here we seem to be shifting away from medical interventions because grommets are too temporary in terms of relief, and in themselves add a small scar to the eardrum. If a child is suffering at preschool age they need to get all the way to about 12 before the expected time to grow out of the problem, so 9 months of relief for the problem to come back and do another surgery seems not a good idea to me when you can treat the hearing loss with modern good quality hearing aids. Unless the child is at imminent risk of perforation then I am currently not seeing the benefit of doing surgery unless the child is nearing puberty anyway or you get lucky and one surgery fixes the problem forever. I'd love to see more evidence either way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaVega View Post
    My 3-year-old daughter had a lot of ear infections when she was younger and in her infancy. Thankfully she doesn't get them often any more. But every time she would complain or hold her ears, we'd take her into the doctor. It's always better being safe than sorry.
    See, that's what I thought, but my daughter has terrible wax in her ears also, which they will not remove. They have never seen her eardrum on one side and can rarely see it on the other side. We take her to the doctor and they guess at whether she might have an infection or not cos they can't see anything. I can guess myself!

  5. #5

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    Alairellis23 is right about antibiotics which is why the current thinking is called "watchful waiting". The medical profession now says that most ear infections will clear up on their own, and are more hesitant to prescribe antibiotics. The overdosing of antibiotics for children with ear infections leads to problems in later life when antibiotics are needed for more serious problems. At least that's the current thinking. And no I'm not saying whether I agree with this or not and yes I understand it's hard to watch your child tug on his or her ear knowing the child may be uncomfortable.

  6. #6

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    Completely agree with RoseRodent on getting proper reason for "Glue Ear" is important, because one of my friend's son became the target of the Glue Ear and ended up with hearing loss.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hask12 View Post
    Alairellis23 is right about antibiotics which is why the current thinking is called "watchful waiting". The medical profession now says that most ear infections will clear up on their own, and are more hesitant to prescribe antibiotics. The overdosing of antibiotics for children with ear infections leads to problems in later life when antibiotics are needed for more serious problems. At least that's the current thinking. And no I'm not saying whether I agree with this or not and yes I understand it's hard to watch your child tug on his or her ear knowing the child may be uncomfortable.
    Having gone through any number of ear infections from 18 months to 3 years I've tried the watchful waiting and the antibiotics. It seems to me that the watchful waiting method did work but it took weeks! By the time the ears were healed we had another cold to deal with with just inflamed the area again. I can't see how that is helpful. When we took the antibiotic route it cleared in 3 days and was left to heal. YMMV.

  8. Default Childhood Ear Infections

    I totally agree with you. Ear infections often depends on the age of a child. Doctors advice antibiotics for treating this but it can be treated without medication also as i have heard. But if it is severe problem for a child then consulting a physician is a must.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby.yeager View Post
    Completely agree with RoseRodent on getting proper reason for "Glue Ear" is important, because one of my friend's son became the target of the Glue Ear and ended up with hearing loss.
    So did I.

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    Personally, I don't have a lot of faith in Doctors.
    I took my son to the Dr's with ear pain. he had a middle ear infection which extended into his ear canals. The Dr prescribed drops, which his mother duly inserted. It wasn't until he screamed in pain that I read the instructions and found out that the drops were thinned with alcohol!
    Now, I'm no expert, but raw flesh and alcohol don't exactly go hand in hand.
    Now, I not only read the leaflet, I ask the Pharmacist as well.

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