Thursday, May 5, 2011


So now your child has tubes. What does that mean...
Basically, the ENT is making a small hole in your child ear drum and then inserting a very small plastic tube that will allow fluid and mucus to drain out of the ear and into the nose. Now your child will not have the pressure in their ear, even if they have an infection and they will not have the hearing loss from the fluid build up.

The ENT told me that I would see discharge if my daughter had an ear infection again after that. I went running to the doctor when her sheets were wet, probably from sweat p, because I was not sure what it would look like.

Well let me just tell you it s usually 150% obvious when your child has drainage from an ear infection after tubes. A lot of children don't even get infections after tubes. Some do! When they do, you can just look in the ear with your eyes and see dry crusted stuff in the ear. Sometimes after a nap it can even look like wet liquid snot. Once my daughters ear was such a cesspool of snot that 10 q tips didn't do it justice. So when I used drops nothing happened because they were just sitting on a bed if mucus. I had to take her to the ENT to have her ear suctioned then we could use the drops. Imagine if she didn't have those tubes! She didn't even cry at night when she had this infection.

Another time she had a bad cold and when the doctor looked in her ear, it looked like one if the tubes had fallen out. The tubes can fall out as early as three months but usually last a few years. The tube had not fallen out it was actually clogged with dry mucus. Again we had to go to the ENT and he used drops to liquify the mucus and suction her ear. Again she was not waking in pain.

They tell you that it is ok to swim with tubes. And it is! But just be aware that when the ear gets water in it through the tubes at certain angles, for some children, it can cause a moment of pain. Just watch your child and assess your own situation. Mt daughter takes swimming lessons every week and she is fine with it so far.

More on Ear Infections & Tubes

Apparently when children get a bad ear infection their ear is filled with mucus and fluid. Often the antibiotic gets rid of the mucus and any other yuck stuff in the ear but does not dry all the fluid. It can take up to 3 moths for all this fluid to drain and leaves your child more susceptible to additional ear infections.
Fun times!
While your child's ear is filled with fluid (either 100% or parochially) they have some hearing loss and are pretty much hearing like they are underwater. When a chid is very small and has this fluid for 3 months they can often end up with a speech delay. Imagine you not hearing for 3 months.
Sometimes an ENT will elect to put tubes in you child's ears if the fluid never drains. Sometimes they will not. My children's pediatrician likes to have a child get tubes if they still have fluid after 3 moths because that is usually a sign that the fluid will never drain and she does not see a reason in having the child suffer. The fluid can cause pain and again can cause a speech delay that can be avoided.

My daughter had 100% fluid filled ears and ended up getting 8 ear infections in 10 weeks. We did tubes at week 11. It was the best thing ever!

Ear Infections

Well my life had been taken over by ear infections in the fall and moved in to bronchiolitis in the winter/spring. Lucky me!

Let's start with ear infections first. And start simply.

Apparently we all have tubes in our ears that run from the ear to the nose. As we grow our heads grow and the tubes tilt. Babies tubes are usually quite flat. When we blow our nose, the mucus comes out these tubes into a tissue. Babies cant blow, and we usually use something to suck the mucus out. But we can't do this as often as we would blow our nose. So often times children that have the tubes with very little tilt, end up with an ear infection.
You can tell your child has an ear infection because they usually are good in the day when they are upright, then after just a few hours of sleep are up most of the night because of pressure build up in their ears from laying down. It feels like they have been on a plane and their ears will not pop. Usually the child gets a fever along with the earache. Often they will pull on their ears. They can get an infection in 1 ear or both. You cannot see it on your own and usually need antibiotic to get rid of it.

Some ways to help relieve the pain for your baby is drinking a bottle or sippy cup. The sucking helps the child to swallow and makes them feel better. A pacifier actually is not good for this. I ended up giving my daughter her cup in bed with water when she was really bad and it would help her go back to sleep. There are also homeopathic drops you can try. Some people love them but I did not have much luck. Also you can try tilting the crib mattress so the head is not so flat. I put towels under the mattress. This was helpful when my daughter was sleeping in the right direction. But we all know babies move around a lot.

My very trusted pediatric ENT said pacifiers, smoking and drinking bottles in bed can all add to causes of ear infections.