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To ask about treatment for recurring toddler ear infections?

(43 Posts)
WhyamIBoredathome Fri 01-Dec-17 19:00:43

Hi all, hoping someone with experience of this might offer some sage advice.
My DD is 21 months. This evening her ear had started discharging gunk with another ear infection. This is her third infection in 5 weeks. It's only 5 days since she finished a course of oral antibiotics for the last infection which was in both ears.

She has had ear infections a lot since about 8 months old. It used to be predictable, every time she got a cold, about 5 days later it would turn into an ear infection. Now they come out of nowhere with no cold or other symptoms preceeding them. She does suck her thumb, which I believe makes kids more susceptible to it.
I reckon her infections average about one every 6-7 weeks (more in winter, less in summer)

Has anyone had a similar situation and been referred to ENT? I asked the doctor when we went in last week about this and she said no, she doesn't think it's necessary.
But how often does she need to have them before they will do something? I'm starting to worry that her hearing will be damaged.

I'd be very grateful for any experience of this that anyone can offer.

Backingvocals Fri 01-Dec-17 19:03:19

Yes. ENT here then better antibiotics then eventually a year long course before finally getting grommets which resolved the issue but only after a year of drugs plus much begging and sobbing.

Wormysquirmy Fri 01-Dec-17 19:05:59

Dairy free sorted 3 years of infections and glue ear here.

Consultant said it was "coincidental"

Ecureuil Fri 01-Dec-17 19:06:45

Yes, DD2 had about 6 infections between 12 months and 18 months. After the 4th we were referred to ENT who sent us for a hearing test, which showed moderate hearing loss in one ear. After the 6th infection (which was before the hearing test due to waiting times) we were given a different antibiotic and drops and she never had another infection (she’s 2.5 now). We went for a repeat hearing test when she’d been clear of infection for about 6 months and her hearing was back to 100%.

Caroelle Fri 01-Dec-17 19:11:05

DS had repeated ear infections, I took him to a cranial osteopath and he didn’t have any more.

RideOn Fri 01-Dec-17 19:14:04

Has she had all vaccinations and does anyone that looks after her smoke (even not in her company)? Does she drink a bottle lying down?

Did the last antibiotic work? Maybe it was resistant as 5 days seems too soon, could the last one never have fully cleared? Does she need another type?

Nowthefunbegins Fri 01-Dec-17 19:31:45

Sounds exactly like my DD who is now 13. She had countless ear infections and perforated eardrums as a baby and toddler. She ended up having 3 sets of grommets and had her adenoids removed but shes fine now with no damage to her hearing. Push for an ENT appointment.

LaPampa Fri 01-Dec-17 19:34:41

We’ve just had an ENT referral and they may operate next year. Repeated ear inflections but mainly just sticky goo with no pain - GP just gives antibiotics but ENT consultant agrees that is pointless.

BrieAndChilli Fri 01-Dec-17 19:42:47

You will have to push. Best thing to do is ask for a hearing test.

DS2 has burst Wars every couple of weeks from October to May for the first 3 years of his life.
Kept going to the doctor, was told at one point I didn’t need to bring him in every time as not much they could do once it had burst and he showed no signs of pain until the night it would burst.
I stupidly did this which then meant when I went back as it kept happening they had no record of how often is was actually Happening!
When DS was 2 I happened to take him on and it was a locum who instantly put through a referral for me.
Got to see ENT, this was another ongoing saga, we would go to one appt and his ears would be too funky to see anything and he wanted to see them clear, would go back and they would be clear so would ‘see how it went’ eventually I asked for a hearing test which he failed miserably and the audiologist said he needed immediate intervention so the ENT agreed to put in grommets.
Had grommets and no more infections for about 3 years and has had 1 this year.
One of his ear drums was too protracted so when the grommet came out the hole got larger and was too big to heal so will have to have an op when he is 12 to fix it.
DS has heating problems and also speech problems from not being able to hear properly when he was learning to talk. He has speech therapy now .

WhyamIBoredathome Fri 01-Dec-17 19:59:00

Thanks, it sounds like I need to push hard for referral then.
She's up to date with All vax, she has no contact whatsoever with anyone who smokes. She doesn't have bottles at all as she still breastfeeds (so much for helping immunity!!) and does that in a semi sitting position.
She does suck her thumb lying down at night and I suspect this isn't helping it but I can't take her thumb away.

WhyamIBoredathome Fri 01-Dec-17 20:00:49

rideon possibly but it did seem to have cleared, the discharge stopped after 3 days but she had 4 more days of antibiotics as instructed to finish the bottle.

steff13 Fri 01-Dec-17 20:06:43

My daughter had recurrent ear infections; her ear drum burst twice. She has had three sets of tubes. She had a speech delay due to her ears, but she's 7 now and there has been no lasting affect on her speech or hearing.

I agree with PP, she needs to get to an ENT and probably get tubes.

Claireshh Fri 01-Dec-17 20:09:10

My son is now 6.5. He had grommets fitted and adenoids removed a few weeks after his second birthday. No problems since. He had almost constant infections from when he was tiny. Whilst waiting for the op the ENT gave an antibiotic spray which worked well.

WhyamIBoredathome Fri 01-Dec-17 20:12:58

I'm surprised the Pp children have had grommets after eardrum bursting twice, my DD must be on her 6th or 7th perforation by now sad
I think it doesn't help that we never see the same doctor twice and if we have to go to out of hours it's not even a doctor, its a nurse practitioner.

Ecureuil Fri 01-Dec-17 20:17:13

We were referred to ENT after 4 burst drums but they said they would only think about grommets if the second hearing test showed any hearing loss, which thankfully it didn’t.
It’s been a year since her last infection and I’m praying we don’t get any this winter!

MrsPandaBear Fri 01-Dec-17 20:17:46

Our health visitor referred us through to audiology for hearing tests after I mentioned I was worried about DS's hearing following an ear infection. After hearing tests showed hearing loss due to glue ear that didn't resolve after 3 months audiology then referred us to ENT. If you don't get anywhere with your GP you could try your HV?

mineofuselessinformation Fri 01-Dec-17 20:18:42

Definitely push for an ENT referral - continued ear infections with perforation of the eardrum can cause scarring, which leads to hearing impairment.
I'm not saying that to frighten you (hopefully dd isn't in that situation yet, although a hearing test is a good idea), but it can happen.

RedastheRose Fri 01-Dec-17 20:23:05

Yes eldest had repeated infections and repeated courses of antibiotics finally referred to consultant and she had adenoids out and grommets put in and no more infections.

WhyamIBoredathome Fri 01-Dec-17 20:26:11

Thanks. Unfortunately I am well aware of the risks, my sister has hearing loss and wears hearing aids as a result of glue ear as a child. They did try grommets but they just fell out repeatedly.

BlackberryandNettle Fri 01-Dec-17 20:29:17

Friends daughter had the same, repeated a infections from baby-2 years. Privately fitted grommets have sorted it out.

Whirliegigspider Fri 01-Dec-17 20:33:47

Yes push for ent. The fact it's different people you are seeing I think is an issue. Obviously can't be helped with emergency appointments etc. I think book a routine appointment with a Dr you trust. Explain history. Maybe look up nice guidelines on ent ear referral issues? Just to have that as back up if they say no.

HPandBaconSandwiches Fri 01-Dec-17 20:40:05

The guidelines for the insertion of grommets are based on hearing, so the first thing to push for should be a hearing test.
Write down every issue she’s had with her ears with dates (ask for a print out of her medical record if you haven’t recorded it), then see one of the GPs and specifically ask for a referral based on the frequency and severity of infections.

Good luck OP. I hope her hearing is ok.

Backingvocals Fri 01-Dec-17 20:42:33

DS actually didn’t meet the NICE criteria as he only failed two out of three hearing tests. But because he’d been on antibiotics for a year and because I was hysterical in the consulting room as it had been so awful they agreed. Going private would have been my next step.

Witchend Fri 01-Dec-17 20:44:07

Ds started ear infections at about 10 weeks, and continued every 10days until 20 months when he had his first set of grommets.
2nd set of grommets at 3.6years, 3rd set at 6.6 years and I suspect heading for next set shortly at 10.6 years.
Grommets work well for him, but only last 12-18 months.

Baaaaaaaaaaaa Fri 01-Dec-17 21:13:35

My dd presented with ear infection after ear infecrion, with ab’s apparently clearing it up, only for it to recur a short while later.

After the 4th or 5th time in succession she was referred to ent where it was discovered she was suffering from cholesteotoma. Whilst choleseotoma is rare, it can be serious is left undiagnosed.

I only add this to make you aware not all ear complaints are straight forward ear infections. If it prolongs/recurs please ask for 2nd opinions/possibility of this.

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