tubes in ears at 19 months?

Tammy - posted on 05/13/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My son is 19 months. He's had chronic ear and nose infections since about a month old. He saw a ETN a couple months ago and he said that his left ear drum is tilted and is retaining fluid, so he possibly can't hear out of the one ear but the other ear is fine. This could be the reason that he's not talking yet, but it all seems to be only speculations. The doc says that we could do the tubes, but it's completely up to us, that the problem could work itself out with age.

He hasn't had an ear infection for a few months now, but his ears are obviously still bothering him (always scratching and sticking his fingers in) He just said "ball" last week, but he's still behind in language.

I have talked to a couple of moms who had similar issues with their kids, and waited until the kids were older, but in those cases, once they got the tubes in the kids started talking right away and they wished they had done it sooner.

I am very confused as I don't want to do this if it's not (needed), but if I don't do it, am I going to wish I had 3 years from now?

any suggestions?

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Lori - posted on 05/14/2010

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Yeah, my daughter started getting ear infections when she was about a month old and kept getting them over and over again. The ENT put tubes in her ears at 8 months old and she had them until they fell out at 18 months old. They didn't give me a choice. She's been fine ever since then. She's 20 now. If it were me, I do it. What's it going to hurt?

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Melissa - posted on 05/17/2010

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First of all putting your baby under anesthesia is a big deal and should not be taken lightly... Friends have had this done to their LOs said it works but are scared to death about their baby... I have also heard of having a Pediatric Chiroprator work on them and has helped. If your insurance does not cover it I am sure if your Peditricion writes a prescription for it they will so talk to them about it. I would definitely try this first and see if it helps. Every since I slowed on BFing my son is having ear issues. If my peditricion reccomends tubes I will take him to the chiroprator 1st. Good Luck

Michelle - posted on 05/17/2010

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I would recommend putting in tubes. It is a very non-invasive surgery and can always be removed. And it sounds like ears are bothering him. As a teacher, I have had students as old as 5th graders who have had learning issues in school that stemmed as far back as chronic ear infections when little children. I know this sounds weird, and I would not have believed it myself without experiencing it, but I found taking my own child to chiropractor also helped with ear infections and terrible asthma....I would do the tubes.

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Both of my children had grommets by the age of 2 and they have never looked back health and development wise. The best thing is the problems have sorted themselves as they have developed but the grommets just helped them get through without the pain. Good luck!

Emma - posted on 05/14/2010

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Just a thought. I had a child who had constant ear infections from the time he was 6 months. After many perforated eardrums, litres of antibiotics which I am sure were not the best for him we had grommets put in. The ear infections still came but the "puss" just poured out without the pain of the ear drum breaking. After about another year we were still having problems. It was suggested to me to go to a Paediatric specialist Chiropractor. From the moment we have been we have not had any problems, no further ear infections, no antibiotics. They can give you a rationale as to why realigning the spine works (misalignments due to delivery at birth etc). I did not really care, I was at the last resort so was willing to try anything. It has worked for us. 5 months and no antibiotics or ear infections. Not bad for a kid who had them literally constantly.
Good luck, i feel your pain!!!

Kate CP - posted on 05/14/2010

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Surgery is obviously not without risk, but at the same time round after round of antibiotics isn't good for him either. My daughter just had her second set of tubes put in and had her tonsils removed, too. The whole procedure only took about 30 minutes (and that was with the tonsils being removed), honestly, and it's pretty easy recovery after the first day. The first day they just want to sleep and cuddle. If it were me I would get the tubes.

Alison - posted on 05/14/2010

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My daughter who is now 7yrs had chronic ear infections and was not talking either at one. Our Dr suggested bc she had not gone one month without at least 1 ear infection since birth that we try tubes. I was sick of all the meds she was having to take and all of the long nights with pain! I finally agreed to getting the tubes, and she felt great and started talking up a storm! I am very glad we didn't wait any longer, it helped her so much! The only time she ever got another ear infection was when she grew and the tubes fell out...we just had another set of tubes put in when that happened. Finally at 5 they fell out...with no other ear infections and haven't had any problems again! They do eventually grow out of it, sometimes I just think they need help in the meantime! I had a hard time deciding what to do, but looking back I am glad we made this choice! She seemed frustrated that she couldn't talk like other kids her age and she was clumsy bc her balance always seemed to be off! I think if there is a way to help our children feel better, why wouldn't we? This surgery is very easy on the kids, I think it is a lot harder on the parents!

Amy - posted on 05/13/2010

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My son got his tubes at 9 months; he's now 21 months and the infections haven't stopped. But we're still VERY glad we did it. With the tubes the infections seem relatively painless and can be treated with drops instead of oral antibiotics. Still, our ENT is concerned about the continued infections, since they're not supposed to be this frequent after tubes. In December the ENT suggested we consider having his adenoids out and perhaps replacing the tubes. We decided to wait on that one. We've been more aggressive about suctioning his nose when he has a cold; that seems to help a little but hasn't stopped the infections completely. His speech is somewhat delayed, but not excessive. He can say words, but not very clearly. Don't know if it's related, but we have a one-year follow up appointment tomorrow and will be getting a hearing test to see. Fingers crossed...

Sarah - posted on 05/13/2010

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i would recommend it, my daughter has had tubes since she was about 6 months but before that she had ongoing ear infections and always sick and it is a very easy procedure and takes about 15 min the only problem we have had is the anastia, sorry may have spelled that wrong but the upset stomach from it, my daughter is 4 now and has the t tubes but the docter's have been great about it and my daughter has no problem with speech except understanding her which we have speech therapist for and that problem is being fixed and she has no kind of hearing loss, she actually hears very well! the constant infections and fluid is what put her behinde when she was developing her speech, but it is all working out now, so good luck to you as a mother of a daughter with tubes

Michelle - posted on 05/13/2010

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If your doctor is saying that your son's ear is retaining fluid, then get the tubes!! I know it sounds scary, but it is such a simple procedure. Nothing to worry about. And Im sure that his ears are what's causing his language barrier. Many kids with chronic ear infections may have issues with speech and balance. Its an easy fix...with tubes.

Let me tell you what's going to happen. They will take your son back to the OR, put a mask on him with gas for him to go to sleep (no needles), once he is asleep they will clean his ears out. A small incision will be made in his tympanic membrane (ear drum) and the tube will be inserted into the hole. Antibioitic drops will be placed in his ear(s) followed by a cotton ball. Voila!! This procedure takes 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish. Within a few days, I think you will be able to see a big difference in your son.

If his ears are still bothering him, get the tubes. He doesnt need an infection for them to worry him all the time. I think you already know what you need to do to help your son. I know surgery is a scary thing....but I assure you...its the best thing you can do for him. It will be over before you know it.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/13/2010

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My son was 19 months old also when he got his tubes....he was going to the Dr. every other week with a bad ear infection....He had to get antibiotic shots 3 times every other week to try to kill the infection because the other meds weren't working the way the Dr would have liked....He went to an ENT at the end of August and had the tubes put in the middle of Oct. Since then we have had no infections at all in the ears....He has started talking more, but it is still a slow process for him....but he also has a 3 year old sister who talks for him so he doesn't have to talk :) I am very glad we did the tubes for him. He is a much happier baby....two days after the surgery he was a completely different baby.....before the tubes while he was sick all the time he just laid around all the time not really playing or doing much of anything...after the tubes we couldn't keep him in one place for very long before he was running around to get into something else. That alone was worth it for me to see him become such a happier baby and to start enjoying himself a lot more

Kathryn - posted on 05/13/2010

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From what we were taught in school, the doctor usually only suggests tubes if they feel they are needed. And your son seems like a good example of needing the tubes since he has had chronic ear infection since 1 month. That's usually the 1 case doctors are suppose to suggest tubes. I don't want to push you to make the decision since it is your decision and you are doing the right thing by learning the pros and cons. However, if my son had chronic ear infections I'd get the tubes. It is a simple procedure like Kathy said.

Tracey - posted on 05/13/2010

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Is this the same as glue ear? My son had grommits fitted at 2&1/2 and after the operation it was light someone flicked the lights on, the difference was amazing.
If the problem is with the operation don't worry, it takes very little time, and within an hour of having it my son was sitting up in bed playing with his toys. ,

Tracy - posted on 05/13/2010

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My daughter got her first set at 9 months and her second at about 18 months. It was the last thing I wanted, but I also didn't want her to be on meds constantly. She's 3 now and hasn't had issues since the last set. She was never cranky after, and it only took maybe an hour from when they took her back to when they brought her to us. No pain, just some icky goo draining from the ear (which is exactly what you want), and a happy girl again

Kathy - posted on 05/13/2010

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This is such a simple procedure. My husband had the same problem with one of his ears. After threatening he finally went to see the specialist. Next appointment, he got a tube in his ear. He now kicks himself for not getting it done earlier. I was in the room with him. The doctor cleans the ear out, makes a small incision in the eardrum, inserts the tube, puts antibiotic drops in, and a cotton ball. Drops for a week after. With little ones, they give them some local meds that put them to sleep just long enough for the procedure. No pain afterwards. My husband as no pressure, no ringing, and is amazed by the sounds he can hear. I am also happy that the tv isn't blaring anymore! LOL

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