ear infections

Lisa - posted on 08/28/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hi. My 1 yr old daughter has had repeated ear infections for the past 4 months (occuring every 2 weeks). I've read somewhere a link with possible reaction to cows milk, so I have taken her off of dairy for a while then will reintroduce yoghurt and cheese in a few weeks, but will keep her on soy formula for awhile, until she's at least finished bottles (probably in about 6 months) so not taking in large amounts of milk. Anybody have any experience or advice on this?

(FYI her ear infections started when she started daycare, but also when she switched from breast milk to formula. Doctor says its nothing to do with milk, but naturopath is convinced.)

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Tammy - posted on 08/28/2009

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I have a childcare and I have seen children are getting ear infections more now than ever. I feel that this is due to the fact that children under the age of six are not allowed to get decongestant medications when they get a cold. An ear infection is fluid built up behind the ear drum that does not drain or dry up and then turns into an ear infection. When children were given decongestants this helped dry up this fluid behind the ear drum and it did not have a chance to get infected. The reason that you maybe having more ear infections since starting daycare is that children have colds and colds spread like wildfire no matter how careful you are with washing hands and such.

Tips I have for you is never let your baby drink a bottle laying flat, pediatricians have said that this may keep fluid out of the ear.

Next ear infection ask your doctor if it is time to see an ear nose and throat specialist for tubes for the ears.

Remember too many ear infections can cause hearing loss.

I do not think it is related to milk, I have never heard of milk/dairy products causing ear infections.

I hope this information helped.

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Hi Lisa,

I have a similar story to Amy's. My son, now 13 used to get ear infections since he was 6 months old. His pediatrician talked about referring us to an ENT, but THAT one more infection that never occured at the age of 1. However, i believe because of that my son was a late talker and couldn't seem to speak right. I blame all those stupid ear infections. He then started a severe case of strep, once he started 1st grade up to 5th grade. After so many streps, I finally decided to take him to an ENT, without a doctor's referral. He got his tonsils and adnoids removed. We have noticed a great improvement in the way he speaks! Don't always settle for what Doctors tell you, go with your motherly instinct, and push for more!

Lisa - posted on 08/28/2009

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Forgot to mention, Im in Australia, so for us the cold/flu season should be finishing soon (opposite to N. America). Thanks for all the support/suggestions etc. I do think she has had the infections as a result of the fluid not draining- they are too close together to be actually draining and then another one building up. We've taken her out of swimming lessons also (which is a shame cause she loves them) so for now we'll see how she goes without cows milk (just in case that does work) and see the ENT in Dec. It's nice to know that if she does get the tubes they should clear it all up.

Brea - posted on 08/28/2009

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Sounds like she's allergic to the Augmentin, which could mean she has an allergy to penicillan. It's too bad you have to wait until December for the appt with the ENT. Warm weather is good, but generally cold and flu season start up in Oct/Nov. I could be mistaken, but the antibiotics do help if your child has a bacterial ear infection. And again if I'm correctly informed, I think the only way that the doctors can tell that for sure is to test the fluid that has built up behind the ear. If her tubes are not large enough to drain that much fluid that could be part of the problem and that would be an anatomical problem that tubes would help with. She could also have allergies that are unrelated to milk (grass, pollen, mold, etc), but it is reccommended that children under 2 do not take decongestants or antihistamines. That being said, out pediatrician recommended a very small daily dose of claritin for our son until we could see the ENT and get the surgery scheduled. Taking our son out of daycare wasn't an option for us either, but there is light at the end of the tunnel : )...I hope that soon you have a healthy, happy daughter.



Oh and for the wait and see approach - you can alternate motrin and tylenol every 3 hours to keep the pain and fever in check (just in case you didn't know).

Lisa - posted on 08/28/2009

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She does have an appt with the ENT but not until December. I thought I would try the milk thing to see if that makes any difference in the meantime. She has also had several antibiotic runs, and the last one with Augmentin she broke out in hives really bad, also some wheezing so it was a day at the hospital for us. I have decided against any further antibiotics, so next one she gets we'll just do the 'wait and see' approach. I've been advised by various medical professionals that the antibiotics don't generally help anyway as in studies children recover at the same rate with or without antibiotics. Unfortunately taking her out of daycare isnt an option for us, shes only in 3 days a week and loves going there! Also the weather should start warming up soon so that might help as well?

Brea - posted on 08/28/2009

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Our son started having chronic ear infection when he was 6 weeks old ( as soon as he started daycare because I had to go back to work). He was in the pediatrician's office every 2 weeks for more antibiotics until he was 5 months old with there infections.



I am a medical professional and think a lot of it does have to do with children getting colds and and not being able to take decongestants anymore...much more so than the milk factor. However, more concerning is the long term effects of multiple infections on your child. I didn't want my son to have a surgery and I thought he was too young, but the ENT pointed out to me that we had run out of antibiotic options for him.



At 5 months our son had tubes put in his ears and that has been the best thing we have ever done to date for him. He still gets infections, but rarely. And when his ears are infected we know without a doubt that his ears are the problem...no guessing, no "well the look a little pink, but we'll have to wait and see".



It's worth it to at least get a second opinion from an ENT...Good Luck!

Sara - posted on 08/28/2009

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Bottles can increase ear infections, too. Try changing her over to sippy cups. Yes, milk sensitivities can cause ear infections. Formula can cause ear infections too if the baby is still regurgitating because the spitup can get into the ears. Breastmilk is antibacterial, so if it gets into the ears it's not as big of a deal. So it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a milk sensitivity. It might be a general formula sensitivity, or it could just be that the breastmilk was helping mask a condition that might have surfaced with solids eventually anyway.



Are the ear infections "otitis media" (middle ear), or are they infections of the canal?

Esmeralda - posted on 08/28/2009

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this happened to my daughter AND my friends daughter and they both started daycare on the same day at the same daycare!



my friends daughter had to get tubes put into her ears,however my daughter didnt b/c i took her out of daycare and took her to the doctor again that same week she stopped going to daycare. i made an appt with an ENT doctor,and oddly enough the change in environment made everything better!



as my daughter got older i slowly introduced her back into social settings with other children and her immune system built up and her ear infections stopped. she hasnt had one ear infection since,thank God.



i would suggest making an appt with a specialist.



good luck! i hope things get better soon!

Amy - posted on 08/28/2009

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I've had 2 kids go through rough times with chronic constant ear infections. I suggest if she gets 1 more soon head for the ENT. After a set of tubes she'll be a new child. My son is on his 2nd set and had adnoids removed as well. It has made a huge difference. He's been on every antibiotic known to man 3 xs. before the surgery.



Good Luck

Nichole - posted on 08/28/2009

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my 2yr dauther had the same problem and it effected her not talking bc she wasnt hearing us. her ears were not draining so they put tubes in she has not had a problem since and its been since jan 26 09

Jess - posted on 08/28/2009

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My daughter has suffered ear infections every few months since she was around 6 months. She was always given antibiotics, some of which she reacted too. The problem in our case, and something you find in a lot of adults is the antibiotics reduce the symptoms but don't actually solve the infection, this is very common. The doc says she should grow out of it at around 4yrs of age, so fingers crossed we only have a few months to go :-)

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