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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Recurrent Ear Infections

(16 Posts)
markyboyace Tue 16-Jun-15 09:16:06

Hi, I'm a 35 year old dad to two lovely children. A daughter of 6 years and a son of 17 months.

I've never posted to one of these types of forums before but my wife and i are really at a loss as what to do with our little boy.

He's got an appointment with the GP today for what we fully expect to be diagnosed as a 7th ear infection since January this year. It follows the exact same script so we know it's coming. He wakes up in the middle of the night with a 39 - 40 degree temp - which i must say he copes with exceptionally well - and then spends the morning after his dose of Ibuprofen laughing and chatting with his sister, then he gets slowly worse as the day goes on.

Every time we take him in he gets a course of Amoxicillin and within 24 hours (3 doses) he's right as rain. We obviously finish the course as advised.

I was just wondering what other parents experiences of this was. I'm not one for panicking but this is testing me now. People have mentioned ear tubes to us but our GP doesn't think it's necessary and expects him to grow out of it. I've always been someone happy to listen to a DR's treatment plan with respect, i don't believe there are more bad DR's than good ones like a lot of people.

She says that he reacts so well to antibiotics that it seems to be the best route to take at the moment,

Thanks for reading my waffle, i apologise for going on.

Catswiththumbs Tue 16-Jun-15 09:23:28

Does he swim a lot?

When I was a kid I used to get recurrent ear infections from swimming and wallowing in the bath. Basically, all the previous ear infections left scar tissue, which trapped infection/wax and ended up in a cycle. A quick operation (day patient) sorted it out.
I still get my ears syringed fairly regularly though due to wax build up.

Presuming you don't clean them or prod and poke in there (nothing smaller than your elbow in your ear all that).

markyboyace Tue 16-Jun-15 09:38:30

No we've made an effort to keep him out of a pool whilst this has been going on. Thank you for your reply though.

MrsKCastle Tue 16-Jun-15 19:22:52

My DD2 had this, several infections within a few months. It started when she was 6 months old and we got used to regular GP visits, but it did eventually stop with no further treatment, just the antibiotics. DR is 4 now and (touch wood!) has been fine since she was about 2. No problems with hearing or anything. I do hope it's the same for your DS.

FuckitFay Tue 16-Jun-15 19:33:27

Hello, I've got three DC and they have all suffered with ear infections. My third was the worst, over 8 this winter. We went private a few months ago. The consultant prescribed drops for the ears which cleared up the infection much quicker than antibiotics have done at the first sign of infection. She suggested that once pus is coming out the ears you need the topical drops and not the oral antibiotics. She has also put us on a low level of antibiotics for four months to try and clear the infection. My eldest had grommets but had complications (they didn't heal) and will need another operation at age 12 when her ears have stopped growing. I would expect you will be referred but I would definitely ask about the options of low level antibiotics as it's the only thing that has actually stopped the cycle of infection for us.

tippytappywriter Tue 16-Jun-15 19:40:16

Hi. That does seem a lot of ear infections. Can you ask to be referred to a specialist? You could also ask about drops for the ears. My DD has had about 5 infections this winter and the drops are effective.

cathpip Tue 16-Jun-15 19:57:48

All the tubes in the ears are so tiny at this age and only with growth will they get bigger, but with the amount of infections he is getting I would be worried about some permanent damage. In my experience ear infections take a very very long time to clear, maybe asking for an extended period of antibiotics might knock it on the head properly. Failing that I would be tempted to ask for a referral for an ENT appointment just to be on the safe side.

alwaysabattle Tue 16-Jun-15 20:03:37

Hi which ds is the one that has them?? I've been through 21/2 years off hell with my youngest ds until he got grommets. He is 3 on Thursday and speech delayed etc due to it all. He became immune to amoxicillin and ended up having reactions to other antibiotics. We got hospitalised a lot of times. I urge you to push for what you think best. I'm happy to offer more off what helped us to get sorted if your interested.

Preminstreltension Tue 16-Jun-15 20:19:06

I would ask for a referral to ENT. DS will likely grow out of it but I had a child on antibiotics every day for a year (literally) so the infection become chronic as it was in our case. They don't like to do grommets before 2 and usually only when you can demonstrate sustained hearing impairment. My son only failed two out of the requires three hearing tests so was not allowed grommets at first but they relented when I sobbed in the consultant's office!

I was right to get it done as he's never had an infection since although I still hate to think what that year of antibs did to his system.

So request ENT referal. They'll want to do three hearing tests and it's probably hard to so on such a young child but worth getting in the system now.

DeeWe Wed 17-Jun-15 12:17:50

Okay. I've sort of been there.

However I would have been thrilled if ds had only had 7 ear infections in 6 months at that age. He had them roughly every 10-14 days from age 3 months to 20 months-which was when he had his first set of grommets in. They didn't bother testing his hearing at that age, just said he needed them due to the ear infections.
When the grommets came out he had 8 burst ear drums in 9 weeks, so they put more in.

He's now on his third set of grommets (8yo) and looks like probably okayish, although he's still suseptable to ear infections. We know, and his GP knows, that he needs seeing very quickly if his ears start hurting as we have a very short period to start getting antibiotics (and yes he does need them, neither my girls did though) or else it will increase so his drum bursts.
He's got one of the grommets out (they naturally fall out on average around a year after being put in) and the other in, and he's had 2 ear infections since that one came out (in March), which is nowhere near enough to think about putting a grommet back in, so things are looking hopeful.

Thing is though that ear infections tend to be better in the summer. Problem you might have if you insist on being referred now, get seen in August and he'll be fine-even my ds was often fine through JUly/August, so they'll take him off the list.

If your ds is behind in speech, then it probably is worth asking your GP if he think he's worth referring. However I suspect, particularly with the summer coming up, that they will prefer to wait and see what they're like next winter. A lot of children who have that sort of number grow out of it fairly quickly, so you may find that they're fine after this.

I think most children do grow out of it naturally without any intervention. If they do think you need it, then it can happen very quickly. The 2nd set of grommets we saw ENT and were booked for the op the same week.
Our GP generally says "grommets are what keep consultants in BMWs" grin but for ds he referred his without me asking anything.

BlueBlueSea Fri 19-Jun-15 11:42:41

My Dd had this when she was 15 months. Constant ear infections.

A Cranial Osteopath sorted it out, no need for surgery.

Cathpot Fri 19-Jun-15 11:45:30

Similar issue about 2 years old for DD, eventually given low dose antibiotics every day for 3 months. She has been fine since- she's now 10!

hackneyzoo Fri 19-Jun-15 19:51:05

My ds, now six, had this. Keep a record of each infection and take pictures of there is discharge. Ask for ENT referral. DS had grommets which just came straight out again and didn't work. He was then given a 3 month course of low dose ABs and hasn't had an ear infection for three years. smilesmile

VJsmom Sat 20-Jun-15 19:12:20

My DS had an ear infection pretty much every three weeks for 12 months. Under consultant re potential grommets. In January I read somewhere about milk allergies and ear infections so I changed DS'S milk to soy milk. Since I did this he has only had one ear infection which is pretty much unheard of for him.
It may well be a coincidence as he's 2 now and the consultant said that when a child turns two everything changes. who knows but it worked for him.
I feel your pain and you ds pain ear infections are nut fun.
maybe suggest this to your HV or GP?
hope things improve smile

girliefriend Sat 20-Jun-15 19:18:40

My dd had this as well, she is 9yo now and is only just 'out growing' ear infections hmm

I would push for an early ref to ENT for an hearing test, my dd required gromits when she was 2yo and again when she was 4 yo.

How is his speech? Does he become tired/ frustrated easily? Does he speak loudly? Has his ear drum perforated? Is there any discharge in his ear when he has an infection?

anotherdayanothersquabble Sun 21-Jun-15 13:45:13

10 year old here with recurrent ear infections who suffers from the effects of antibiotics. Food intolerances, osteopathy, boosting immune system and attempting to balance gut flora all seems to help. Good luck.

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