Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ear Infections and Tubes

My youngest child has had a few ear infections, but not many. I do have several friends who have dealt with tubes. If the child is diagnosed properly, they seem to really help. Read the bold text below to find the connection between clumsiness and ear infections.

From Medstar: One of the most common causes of developmental issues in kids is recurrent ear infections. And with a trend toward letting them heal without antibiotics, when is it time to talk tubes?

In his first year, Luke Longmore faced a flurry of ear infections. Mom Michelle Longmore said, "He had six in a six month time period. It wasn't that they weren't healing. They were healing after each time. The antibiotics were working for him, but he just continued to get them."

Luke was the perfect candidate for ear tubes, small, plastic tubes surgically inserted into the eardrum to keep air moving in the middle ear.

Dr. Margaretha Casselbrant said, "We usually say if a child has three acute infections with pain on colds and fever in six months, after that you should start considering putting tubes in." Doctor Casselbrant is the first researcher in the United States to find a potential link between clumsiness and fluid in the middle ear.

Dr. Margaretha Casselbrant said, "I think it's important to see how the child doing in school. can they hear, or not? do they seem to be extra clumsy? and i think they need to talk to their pediatrician." Luke's motoring around with no problems, thanks to the ear tubes he got a few months ago.

Michelle Longmore said, "Within a week's time, he was crawling around the house, pulling himself up to stand, sleeping through the night." Dr. Casselbrant said,"Usually the whole personality can be different and the parents come back and say, 'oh, my child is like a new kid.' And I think that's the fun things to hear."

Dr. Casselbrant continues her research, focusing on the search for the gene responsible for ear infections.


  • 90 percent of children in the U.S. have at least one ear infection before age three.

  • Ear infections lead to more than 5 million visits to physicians' offices each year in the U.S.

  • Chronic ear infections can lead to hearing problems, speech development and balance problems.

  • More than one-half million ear tube surgeries are performed on children in the U.S. annually.

Are your kids clumsy? Do they get a lot of ear infections?

(I am still working on the how to donate cord blood locally story)

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Maria said...

My son has tubes, but once he started daycare, he couldn't stop getting infections. They would go away, but they always came back. Towards the end, prior to the tubes, even thought it wasn't infected, there was fluid. Post-tubes, he started falling less, his speech/vocab/communications are well above average for his age group.

I was hesitant due to the potential complications in healing, but we had to do something for the little guy. Hopefully it works out in the end, I guess.

Melinda said...

I have four children and all of them have had at least one set of tubes. A couple have had two or three. To me, the pros outweighted the cons. I personally had 10 sets of tubes by the time I was 9 years old. Because I would never tell my mom that my ear hurt until my ear drum was ready to burst, I had a few ruptured ear drums. That can cause hearing loss because the break is always jagged and creates more scar tissue....thus hearing loss. When a tube is inserted, it is a clean break (straight line) so it heals nicer and cleaner and less likely hood of hearing loss. Because of the ruptures, I do have some hearing loss in both ears. For me, that outweighs any other odds or complications.

Emily/Randomability said...

My son started getting ear infections when he was 6 months old. For 4 months, it was chronic. We'd try one antibiotic, then the next and the next. I don't think they ever healed. Our pediatrician finally referred us to ENT, but we couldn't get an appointment for months.

His eardrum nearly burst and the ENT saw us immediately. His tubes were inserted a few days later, right around 9 months. It was the BEST thing we did.

The tubes stayed in for 2 years, then they were removed. He still had fluid in his ears over the summer, so in September we decided to have them inserted again and have his adenoids removed at the same time.

At this time, his second set is still in (he's 5 now) and will be removed after winter.

In the past 4 years that he's had his tubes, he's gotten only two ear infections. They were cleared with ear drops.

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