Can anyone tell me about getting tubes in the ears? My doc is suggesting it but I have no idea what is involved with this procedure. Can anyone enlighten me?

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Angie - posted on 02/05/2009

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Hi kerry

My three childred all had tubes put in and also myself as an adult. It has helped them so much.I wouldn't be afraid to get it done ,I am looking at the forth time in my adult life to have it done and the hearing thing is like night and day.I went from just about having hearing aids to being able to hear the air coming out of the registers .My three kids are older now but don't have the trouble I do,but your child will be so much healther in the long run. Good luck do it and don't look back

[deleted account]

My son had 11 ear infections in 9 months. Poor thing! We finally had the tubes put in. Best thing ever! He hasn't been sick since! He was 15 months old when he had the procedure, and truly endured it well. I think it's harder for mom. He bounced back right away. That afternoon he started walking better too. By one week, he even seemed to be talking, and understanding us better. It was a mircle for us, and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if needed on my next child. Such a great thing to not have to watch him suffer anymore with ear infections! He hasn't even caught a bad cold or flu this season yet! (knock on wood!.......and he's in daycare!) It solved so many of our problems! Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 02/04/2009

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There is no need for needles and I've no idea why some people have posted that their poor babies had to suffer like that. My son was given gas to make him sleep and that was it. I took him to the theatre myself, the ENT told me to wait outside the doors and literally 5 mintues later he came out and said my son was fine. I then waited another 5 minutes for him to wake up and they brought him out. He ate ice cream, had some juice and within 30 minutes of waking we went home. There is no reason to stress, this is such a quick easy procedure with nothing but positive results. It is truly worth it. Unless you'd prefer to risk your child hearing and have them on antibiotics every few weeks? I'm not a fan of surgery at the best of times, but in this case it was a blessing of note.

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Selena Irene - posted on 10/25/2012

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I had to have tubes put in my ears when I was three, four , and six, Now I have hearing lost in my left ear. I have a two year old son and a nine year old son.

Angie - posted on 02/09/2009

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My son had his put in when he was 4. It was amazing to see how well he could hear after. Even though the dryer buzzer had gone off almost every day of his life, when he heard it, he asked what it was. I put a sign on the front door asking people to know NOT ring the bell because it took him a few days to adjust to the noise. It's really much harder on mom than on the child.

Cindy - posted on 02/09/2009

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My son had tubes put in 6 months ago.  Very routine and easy surgery.  He did not seem to be in any pain.   I had always heard that this will stop ear infections.  However in my sons case it did not.  My ENT said that it is comman and can happen.  Tubes are still in place. Over all I am still glad we went ahead with the surgery.  i was afraid of damaging his hearing.

Kathy - posted on 02/05/2009

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I have an excellent ENT doctor that my kids go to. Two of my four kids have ear tubes and I am happy with the outcome of them. They would get ear infections ALL the time and it affected my sons hearing (he had some hearing loss and the tubes have helped alot). The "surgery" was nothing too major, out patient , it didn't take too long and they didn't have any "problems" after the surgery either. The tubes will fall out on their own and the kids don't even feel them.

Jillian - posted on 02/04/2009

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Before you go down this road, check for a dairy and/or wheat allergy. Dairy causes extra mucus and inflamation in our head and lungsand can contribute to ear infections/fluid issues big time. I've read grain allergies can also do this. My issue was with the dairy personally and I had tooooo many sergeries on my ears as a child and throughout life now that could have been prevented if someone would have told my mom this information! PLEASE make sure this is not the culprit before you go down that road. Read up on vitamin deficiencies related to ear issues as well...the food we eat or don't eat can cause a lot of our problems.

Candace - posted on 02/04/2009

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My son had to have tubes placed in his ears, it is more traumatic for us mommy's than it is for the children.The procedure is only five minutes long, literally, and the child generally comes out feeling better than when he or she went in. I took my son to an ear nose and throat specialist, when he began with the chronic ear infections, this is how he explained the pain to me-without having the tubes placed to relieve the pressure build up, it feel similiar to sticking your finger in your eye and consistently pushing harder. When the tubes are placed, the pressure is relieved and the child not only feels better, but also their hearing is improved. My son wouldn't talk before his tubes(one year old) he began to get behind on his speech, and battled the chronic ear infections until I decided to go ahead and have the tubes placed, it truly was the best decision I have made so far as a parent.

Audrey - posted on 02/04/2009

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My daughter had tubes at 11 months. I was petrified, but she was a daycare baby and had been sick with ear infections for a long time. We realized that she'd been on antibiotics almost every two weeks for the last 6 months before the tubes. The surgery went well - out within 30 minutes. My daughter was very groggy coming out of the anesthesia and had a cranky day at home. We medicated with Tylenol for pain and lots of TLC from Mommy. The next day was better. Unfortunately, over the next two weeks the ears drained - smelly, gross, matting the hair at nap time, etc. Only with persistence on my part did the doctor finally swab and realize that she had a staph infection within the ears. I don't know if it came from the surgery or not - but we then began our battle with MRSA - the resistant staph. That doctor even vacuumed out one of the tubes while trying to get the gunk out. We stopped going to that ENT. Our luck changed and the staph subsided. I now consider the tubes a blessing. The "kennel cough" of daycare still recurs, but without the persistent ear pressure/infections.

Rhonda - posted on 02/04/2009

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My son got tubes 6mths. ago, and I can tell a huge diffence in his speech. Before he really didn't say a whole lot and when he did he did not pronouce the words correctly. But tubes WILL NOT stop all ear infections. He has had at least 5 in the past 6mths, but I believe it has reduced his infections.

Mel - posted on 02/04/2009

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I've had several sets of tubes put in over the years, my first set being about 37 years ago, and my last set about 8 years ago.  They have improved the whole procedure drastically. It is great when they are in, I hear better and less ear infections....most often its all good, but have experiance complications on a few occasions. Once one tube became lodged in the ear drum and had to be removed surgically, and I have had to have grafting done to close holes on the ear drum 3 times. The skin grafting can be nasty due to dizziness (vertigo) and anesthetic. (nausea/vomitting) The time I had a tube removed was harsh because it caused sever vertigo (the worst I ever experianced) In hindsight, I would so it again as the benefit out weighs the risks. The procedure causes some discomfort but very little, more importantly is the sensitivity of the hearing. I needed things a little quieter for the day...(just something to consider for those young ones.)

Kerry - posted on 02/04/2009

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Responding to Collette - my baby is 10 months old and to the best of my knowledge he has had three severe ear infections in the last two months and not a one prior to that. He is in daycare five days a week so he is constantly sick with something or other - he has had a cold almost constantly for the last seven months ...ever since he started daycare.



The thing about his ear infections though is that he is so happy and acts so normal that we often don't even know that he has one. We actually took him to the doctor this last time for conjunctivitis and in examining him, she found that he had a pretty nasty double ear infection and we had no clue whatsoever. He had no fever, no crankiness, nothing ...the only indication we have is that he will occasionally tug at his ear but that's it.



So I don't know if we're at the point where we should be thinking about tubes or not. I prefer to avoid the surgery if I can but I'm more than willing to do it if it's medically necessary. It just seems like the doctor went from "have some antibiotics" to "you need to start thinking about getting tubes in his ears" awfully quickly, that's all. I want to be as informed as possible when I take him in for his re-check in a couple of weeks.

Jennifer - posted on 02/04/2009

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it also beats being on meds every other week or so for ear infections. more antibiotics in a child may make them not work on them the older they get because of immunity

Jennifer - posted on 02/04/2009

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it is a simple surgery for the child. total time may take 20 minutes. the procudure just for tubes only about 5 minutes. the majority of time is taking them back there, putting them to sleep and started the iv. then the doctor scrubs in and thats it. the baby may wake up dizzy, that is usually the reason for them crying a little. i think as a nurse its pretty safe. i friend of mines son just got them on monday and was up running and eating lunch

Amanda - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Kerry:

Can anyone tell me about getting tubes in the ears? My doc is suggesting it but I have no idea what is involved with this procedure. Can anyone enlighten me?


Kerry,


Both of my sons have had to have tubes.  My first son has had three sets and my second son ahs had two.  They will refer you to an ENT doc and then you will get evaluated. After that on the day of the procedure you will go early in the morning.  The procedure itself takes only about 30 mins.  I was terrified the first time but let me tell you that the relief is seen on their faces almost immediatley.  My boys were both ready to play the same day just a few hours later.  Most children do very well and recover easily.  If you have anymore questions please let me know.

Jackie - posted on 02/04/2009

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My daughter had tubes put in her ears just before she turned 2.  By that time she had suffered through more than 23 ear infections (my doctor kept telling me it would get better-I had to go somewhere else)  For my daughter, she had no needles, or bloodwork, and they used the gas on her, so that part was great.  When she woke up she freaked out and screamed at the top of her lungs for almost 2 hours straight.  Some children react badly to the gas.  She was gone for only 15 minutes for the actual procedure and we were home within 5 hours...little later due to the screaming.  My daughters hearing was at less than half by the time of her procedure and improved to "normal" within 2 weeks.  She was delayed in speech and soon started talking alot more.  The only thing I noticed was her ears seem sensitive now to loud noise...I think because she was so hard of hearing before.  It has been 1 1/2 years and she has had only 2 very minor ear infections since getting tubes-and no more antibiotics (thank god).  All in all it was a blessing and thank goodness her ears weren't perminately damaged before the procedure

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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the thing about tubes is it is NOT usually a necessary thing. you CAN keep giving them antibiotics, but then you run the risk of their bodies becoming immune to the antibiotics or else your child can develop an allergy to it AND their hearing can be affected. and the infections can keep coming back just as often. So while it is not necessary, it could definately save you alot of trouble in the long run and save your child from alot of discomfort.

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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My daughter didn't have to have anything to do with needles for her procedure, I don't know why other people did and we also didn't have to have any drops when we went home.  At our clinic though they take blood through the heel of babies which makes it easier than trying to draw from a vein.

[deleted account]

my son had it done too.  the tubes are about the size of the small tip of a ball point ink pin.  they fall out on their own as your baby's ear grows.  its a simple procedure.....contrary to what i just said my stepdaughter's mom didn't do it when the doctor's told her too and now 15 yrs later(she's 16) her hearing is not 100%.

Kerry - posted on 02/04/2009

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Hmmm, my son is only 10 months old but he's had three severe ear infections within the last two months. He'd never had one prior to that. He has horrible veins - so tiny that they can't manage to hit one to draw blood so I'm worried about him being under general anesthesia or needing to be stuck with lots of needles. The last time he needed to have blood drawn they stuck him five times and never managed to get a drop ...he was completely tortured and traumatized from the whole thing and I don't want him to go through it again if I can possibly avoid it.



We haven't been officially referred to an ENT yet but they said if his latest infection doesn't clear up with the antibiotics, we'll need to look into getting the tubes. I guess if we have to, we can drive him into Children's in Boston ...hopefully they won't torture him the way the other hospital did.

Colette - posted on 02/04/2009

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Hi Kerry.

Apart from being a mom I am an Audiologist and I work with children like yours on a daily basis. I have some questions.

How old is your baby?

How many reoccurring infections did he/she have? Within what time frame?

Does your baby suffer from any other illnessess?

Do you prefer medical or natural approach when it comes to your baby's health?

There are so much information out there that parents never hear because tubes are just the quickest way out. Personally I do not like general anesthetics and I try to avoid it at all costs. But remember. At the end you are this baby's mom and your mother's instinct will make you choose the right thing for your baby! Believe it!

Missy - posted on 02/04/2009

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My daughter had tubes put in her ears at 18months. She had many ear infections and then she had fluid that would not drain. The worst part the day of the surgery for me was when she woke up. They are like a little baby that can not hold their heads up and then she was so confused and where she was that she was crying constantly. Once we got her home though she was fine, slept most of that day.



The only problem that we had with them was after they fell out. One of her ears had a small hole where the tube was that took a little longer to close up. Other than that they worked out wonderfully.

Sarah - posted on 02/04/2009

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I don't know much about the procedure other than I heard its easy and quick.  However, I wanted to respond to you because right now my doctor is suggesting the same thing.  We are actually going to an ENT this Friday for the recommendation, but our daycare provider gave us a suggestion about going to see a chiropractor to see if they can help first.  We've got one around our home who will work on kids ears 7 and under for free.  She takes her own daughter there and she's helped get those ears cleared without meds or tubes (even though tubes have been recommended to her for the past two years).  Just a thought.

Bridgette - posted on 02/04/2009

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I would suggest getting them, if your Dr suggests you do. My son had ear infections all the time. He had his first set when he was 7 months. While he had them in, no ear infections. They fell out, he got ear infections again. This time they did tubes and removed his Adenoids . The first time was nothing. He woke up and all he wanted to do was eat. The second time, there was more involved so when he woke up, he was a mess and in pain. However I would do it again for he has not been sick since. He might get a small cold here and there, but nothing more. Good luck!

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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My 13 mo old just had tubes put in her ears two weeks ago. I was surprised at how fast it was,from the time they took her to the time they brought her back it was less than 30 min. The actual procedure is only about 5 minutes.



What they do is they bring them to the O.R.,give them something to help them relax,then put them under general anesthesia and once they are out,cut a small slit in the eardrum,drain any fluids inthere and insert  a tiny little tube (about the size of a bead)in the slit and  that's it.As soon as my daughter started to wake up in recovery they brought her right upstairs to be with me and within I'd say 45 minutes we were on our way home.



The hardest part for me was not giving her anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before,we were supposed to be at the hospital at 6,her procedure wasn't until 8 and she woke up at 3 a.m. and I was afraid I wouldn't get her back to sleep without feeding her-luckily she went right back to sleep after a diaper change. But once we were home, she did just fine,had very little discomfort,she was pretty tired but that was the only side affect she had. Pain is easily controlled with tylenol.



It's quick and easy,I was terrified before teh surgery because she was so little and she would be in the operating room without me surrounded constantly by people she didn't know adn then waking up in another strange room with more strangers before being brought to me but the nurses were really great the day of and really helped put me at ease. I didn't even have time to drink a cup of coffee before the surgeon came up and told me he was done and everything went perfect.



If your kid is having chronic ear infections I would recommend it.The tubes usually fall out on their own within 6-12 mos after the surgery so it's nothing permanent.

Shelley - posted on 02/04/2009

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Both  my sons had tubes years sgo and thank goodness for that



Joey my oldest had ear infections all the time once the tubes were in he never had a problem again



Now my other son it was because of fluid and once they were put in he started to talk he couldn't hear well before   So I think they are great for the right reason



Shelley

Sujely - posted on 02/04/2009

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It's quick and paineless. My son had it done 4 years ago because of chronic ear infections and we have not had a problem since.

Stacey - posted on 02/04/2009

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Prevnar is great, but did nothing for ears. I have 2 kids and 3 nieces and nephews and all five have had tubes. They have all done very well and saved my son's hearing. DO NOT DELA--my sone had 75% of his hearing back within 24 hours.

Vickie - posted on 02/04/2009

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my son had tubes put in his ears last July ... He had his operation at about 9am ... When he woke up the nurse tried to make him some toast but he wanted mommy's toast ... He was home by 11:30am ... He has never complained that they hurt but we see a big difference in him ...



My son was 4 when we had his tubes put in ... We were considering holding him back from school for a year because his vocabulary just wasn't that great  he just didn't  have confidence and frustrated very easily !!! He went to a doctor's apt and we were told that he couldn't hear out of his left ear because there was so much liquid in it ... Well since he had his tubes put in,,, he has so much confidence and my friends that hear him talk can't beleive that it's the same little boy ... He was born in December so he's the youngest of his class and the parent-teacher meeting,,, the teachet told us that she had to go look at her books and confirm to herself that he was the youngest ... She said that she wouldn't had known that he had had problems with his ears !!!



Needless to say,,, my husband and I are very happy that we decided to have his tubes put in !!! I'm not sure what they do when they put them in but I know that the ears sometimes bleed a little but he said that it didn't hurt ...



GOOD LUCK !!!

Sherry - posted on 02/04/2009

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It is a very simple procedure.  My oldest son had it done when he was 1 1/2 due to so many ear infections.  It was well worth it!!!  Frequent ear infections can damage a childs' hearing and interfere with his/her ability to hear sounds and language when they are very young.  It can interfere with appropriate speech and language development if not taken care of.  My son did extremely well and the tubes do fall out when they get older.  It completely took care of his ear infections.  Some children do have to have tubes put back in b/c of the growth of the ear canal and the tubes falling out  too soon.  I know many children who  have had this procedure and the results have always been POSITIVE!

Cheryl - posted on 02/04/2009

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My Son had ear tubes put in twice. Once at age 7 months and then at age 3 years. He had recurring ear infections and upset stomach before the tubes. The surgery was fairly simple and didn't take very long. The worst part was the pre-op because he hated the needles. I recommend having it done. Also, they are not actually tubes. They are more like teeny rubber bands.

Tami - posted on 02/04/2009

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My daughter was close to getting tubes in her ears because of frequent ear infections. Her nurse told me to get the Prevnar vaccine and it has totally stopped her ear infections.

Amy - posted on 02/04/2009

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Unless things have changed dramatically lately, it is a very simple but worthwhile procedure.  A couple of my own kids have had tubes and it's not a big deal.  They will put your child to sleep, slip the tube in the eardrum and then send him/her to recovery.  I recommend getting an early morning appointment because the child is not allowed to have anything to eat or drink for like 8 hours prior to the procedure. 



Many many of the children in my daycare have had tubes put in and I can say that I notice a huge improvement in both the health and disposition of the children.  It is nice that they aren't plagued with ear pain and it will also keep the eardrum from scarring from recurring ear infections. 



Good luck if you decided to have it done-- ask for a referral to a pediatric ENT doc and I bet you will be please with the results!

Kathy - posted on 02/04/2009

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My daughter had the tubes. It is controversial but it worked wonders for my daughter. It is a simple procedure with little risk to their health.

Sharon - posted on 02/04/2009

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Hi Kerry

Your child has probably been suffering with recurrent ear and upper respiratory tract infections. The ENT will put grommets in your childs ears. It is a very quick procedure done in theatre. It only takes about 10 minutes from the time they go in till the time they come out. You will put drops in the baby's ears for about 3 days afterwards. It is not painful and my son didn't cry both times he had it done. He had it once at 1 year old and the second time at 4 years old. It's worth it don't delay as you could be risking your childs hearing.



Hope this helps to allay any fears.

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