Ever have to have tubes put in your kids ears?

I just took my son to the specialist today because he’s had four ear infections in the last 4 months. The left ear is always worse than the right ear… sometimes the right ear is fine and it’s just the left that is infected.

The doctor said that it’s something he’ll eventually outgrow but the tubes will keep the ear infections down and he (and I) won’t have to go through the pain of them every month.

I’m just looking for some personal experiences from others whose children have had tubes. Was it expensive? Was it worth it? Did the ear infections stop? Any problems? I’m getting ready to do a little research on the Internet to find out what I can before I commit to having this done for him.

Jake had constant Ear infections, up until we had tubed placed in his ears at 9 months. Since then, he’s been stellar, without a hint of complication. The first day was bad, when he was coming out of anesthesia, he was scared and in pain. By the next day, though, things got back to normal.

Expensive - No, insurance covered it.

Worth it - Most definitely yes. Our little girl had non-stop infections all last winter, several bad reactions to the antibiotics she was taking, and a lot of pain & trouble sleeping. When the tubes were put it, the doctor likened the fluid in her ears to thick maple syrup, it would not have cleared on it’s own easily.

Did the ear infections stop? - Since the tubes were put in last May, not one ear infection. Not to say that there can’t be, but if she does get an infection, they are usually painless and are treated with ear drops instead of systemic drugs.

Any problems? - Nope. The whole procedure took maybe 20 minutes. We went in around 8:00 AM, home by 9:30, she was back to normal by lunch.

I did a lot of the same research when we had it done. Here’s my thread on the topic. I’m sure there are exceptions, but everyone I talked to said it was the best thing they ever did, myself included.

Good luck.

I am not as eloquent as the first two, I just popped in to second (third?;)) the idea.

Non-eloquent, plus it’s been like, oh, 18 years since my son had tubes put in his ears. But from what I recall lo those many years ago, it did help.

Mind you, it seems like right after having it done I saw all these reports about how docs where overdoing the surgery bit. Then again, it has been 18 years or so, and doctors are more cautious now.
When my daughter began getting ear infections (what is this? a family trait?)the doc held off on surgery for a bit. And eventually she didn’t need 'em. But four in four months? That’s when the doc would have done it.

So my 0.02 worth is trust the doc. Nowadays the medical community is more cautious about ‘routine’ surgery and when it is to be considered.

(((((HUGS))))) to you and your child. That poor baby. Not untill I got an ear infection myself did I realize just how much they hurt. If you go with the surgery, hope it helps.


Did it. My daughter did continue to have ear infections, but they were far fewer and much easier to take care of (drops in the ears when you saw discharge rather than going in to the doctor and oral antibiotics)…

The clincher for me was that my daughter had a ton of infections by 11 months and ear infections can influence speech and balance - so walking and talking would have been more difficult for her without the tubes.

Insurance picked up almost all costs.

My son had tubes put in when he was 3 and it has been great! His hearing and speech improved in leaps and bounds. The actual surgery was pretty traumatic—two nurses holding him down to give him painkiller & the anesthesiologist asking me to help… No thanks! If he’s going to be mad at someone after it’s over I wanted it to be them and not me!

3 kids, 3 pair of ears, 3 pair of tubes. It helped in every case. It did not eliminate ear infections but it did, as Dangerosa said, make them much less frequent and easier to cure. The procedure was done at the hospital and took about 15 minutes. No muss, no fuss, less puss.

I think all of his problems are my fault. I’ve read lots of articles saying that second hand smoke contributes to ear infections and I smoke in my house… I have for almost a 1 1/2 years now. I never smoked during either of my pregnancies nor while breastfeeding. Six months after my daughter was born I started smoking again (and quit breastfeeding) but I smoked outside. My daughter had her first ear infection when she was about 34 months old years old… about the same time I started smoking in the house! My son didn’t get ear infections until he was about 9 months old… about the same time I started smoking in the house! I think I may have caused this. I’m moving into a new house this weekend and I’ve already decided that I’m not going to smoke in this house! It may not be the cause of his infections but I’m not going to take the chance.

I’m so confused! The Internet just has waaay too much information. I’ve found several articles praising the tubes and a couple saying that they may not be worth the risks and the cost. I’ve also found many different prices… anywhere from $2,000 to over $4,000 for the surgery!

Of the articles I’ve read the main concern seems to be hearing loss and speech delays. My son started talking before he was 1 year old and he talks in complete sentences now and talks much better than most other two year olds I know so hearing loss and slow speech development isn’t a concern for me. When the doctor looked at the ear that was infected last week he said that there was no fluid in there and it seemed to be cleared up. He’s been on an antibiotic for 5 days now… that’s probably why it’s cleared up.

I think I’m going to call the doctor’s office and discuss this a little more with them and find out the costs and also find out if my smoking outside will help some. Argh! Information overload. :confused:

No second hand smoke in my house. And I breastfed my daughter. Not my son, who is adopted, and never got a single ear infection. Don’t believe everything you read.

One of the concerns with lots of antibiotics to clear these is that she could develop an allergy to the antibiotic. My daughter ended up with a (so far) slight penicillian allergy that she may never have had without having been on amoxicillian ten times before her first birthday. So now everything is much harder to clear up.

The risks on this surgery are really low. Lots of kids get it. Some have hearing loss, but our doctor said most kids with hearing loss and tubes had the hearing loss before the tubes from the scarring from reoccurant ear infections.

So could the reason I puked up the penicillin they gave me for my wisdom teeth removal this summer be that I had to take so much amoxicillin as a kid (suffered lots of nasty throat infections)? Hmm…

I’ll be another to say “go for it”. A couple of my little cousins had this done and it helped cut down the infections immensely. And since I seemed to get sick whenever I visited them, it helped me too!

How about first hand? I’vw had tubes since I was 8 or 9. 9 Only 1 infection since and that was last year. Only thing is I occasionally have a whistling sound come from my ears if I blow my nose.

No I’m not kidding.

My sister had them with no complications or ear infections after their installation. Go for it.

I’m 27 years old now. But when I was a teenager, my doctor talked my parents into putting tubes in my ears. The ear infections did become less frequent but much worse when I do get them. I can not swim anymore and have to wear earplugs in the shower. I get infections 2-3 times a year now, but within a day it becomes full blown lock jaw. I’m in so much pain I can barely stand it. My whole jaw swells so I can’t open my mouth. It’s terrible. Do not get tubes in your kids ear!

First of all, I’ll state that my ex-wife was an audiologist who had many pediatric patients. I’m going on hearsay, but I’d suggest that it is educated hearsay.

Nextly, I’ll state that she never mentioned any correlation between “smoking in the house” and “the need for tubes.” She was dead against smoking in any form, but stressed that any need for tubes was due more to the natural growth and formation of the eustachian tubes in children to age 18 or so, rather than external influences (such as localized smoking). Smoking can irritate many things in children, but the growth and development of the eustachian tubes, which is where infections occur, will occur regardless of external influences. Quite simply, a child’s hearing apparatus is not fully-formed when the child is born, but develops through the childhood and teen years. If infections occur, due to immature eustachian tubes, then they will occur. Simple as that. Treat them accordingly.

That being said, my ex also stressed that smoking did damage hearing in the long term, but that children’s ear infections were due more to the body’s natural growth than anything like smoking.

I would suggest, as my ex so often suggested, that the parents take the child to an otolaryngologist (aka an Ear-Nose-Throat specialist) for a definite word on the matter.

I’ve had tubes put in twice the last several years to improve my hearing as my eustation tube gets plugged.

Make sure you keep water out of their ears! That gave me an infection the last time.

The person asking this question was asking 10 years ago, so I’m thinking the decision’s long ago been made and done.

I had great results from the tubes I had put in when I was 5. It really took care of the ear infections.

D’oh! :smack:

Tubes in my ears as a tot. Don’t remember much about it. Ears were pretty much constantly infected until the tubes, then only about once a year afterwards.

Welcome to the SDMB, kaylajaar. Since this discussion petered out ten years ago, I’m going to lock this thread. If you’d like to talk about the pros and cons of tubes, feel free to start a new thread – in the IMHO forum would be the best place, since that’s where we’re now putting threads for medical advice and anecdotes.

twickster, MPSIMS moderato