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Are you sure it's bacterial?
You could try putting olive oil on a piece of cotton and put it in the ear.
Not many know this, but I was advised by a GP once to alwasy come back and check that the infection has actually cleared up and won't just return. Apparently it is quite important.
Perhaps you should request a swab is taken to check for bacterial/viral cause? It won't necessarily affect her hearing at this age and is probably an unfortunate combination of it being her first real winter, so meeting many bacteria and viruses for the first time without the postnatal immunity, and possibly having a chronic fluid problem in her ears due to congestion from colds and small eustacian tubes. The doctor should be checking that all the fluid has drained away at your follow up appointment rather than necessarily referring you yet. May be too early for grommets and the problem would probably right itself when the warmer weather comes.
We've been adivsed something similar by our GP. Every so often I drizzle a teeny bit of olive oil into ds' ears. The GP says that this can help prevent infections.
However, I suspect that ds only ever got OUTER ear infections. He was never in pain, but would get awful gunge coming out of his ears. By the time he's been on the antibiotics long enough to clear up the infection so that the GP could see the ear drum, the ear drum itself would always be clear and show no sign of any perforation. We would then get given ear drops to clear up the infection in the outer ear. But it is important NOT to use these ear drops if the ear drum is perforated, as it could then cause damage.
Another queen of ear infections here too! My ds is now nearly 3 and has been plagued with them from a very young age. He has middle ear infections, and once the infections clear up then fluid was still present in the middle ear. Ear infections themselves do not cause a hearing impairment, it is when fluid remains in the middle ear as the ear drum can not vibrate properly. My ds did have ahearing impairment, and after countless infections and burst ear drums he had grommets in both ears just before his 2nd birthday. One ear is now fine - we are still having problems with the other
Unfortunatley there is nothing that can be done to prevent them. If your dd gets any more I would push for a refferal to a specialist, as the first thing they do is described as 'watchful waiting' for 6 months, to see if it rights itself. Some children are apparantly more suceptable than others, and simply grow out of them by age 5.
Some kids are just prone to ear infections, though I agree that if you didn't take her back to the docs before, one of the infections may have been one of the others coming back.
dd has also just had her 3rd since christmas and the doc has advised that we make an appointment to possibly have her adenoids out. She is a slightly special case because she had mastoiditis last year (nasty complication of an ear infection - one of the reasons you should always go back) and is apparently reasonably likely to get it again.
Think it might be worth having her checked, given your recent history, just to make sure the infection has completely gone. The ear pulling could be unrelated or she could have residual fluid in her ear which is not infected but still a bit annoying.
That is very interesting grumpyfrumpy, dd has just finished a course of amoxycillin and her eardrums went again within forty-eight hours. She is now on erythromycin...
hope it's not the same scenario for you happymum, and that she feels better soon. It really is getting us down, to be honest.
Xylitol can help, a growing body of research suggests. It's a natural antibacterial derived from birch bark and a form of sugar (so tastes sweetish and pleasant to fussy little people).
It is contained in Nelson's Teetha powders and also Boots Natural Remedy Teething powders, and also in some children's toothpastes.
It worked for ds, who has barely had anti-bs in his life, but not for dd
We had grommits for our ds1 when he was about 18mths old - it was the best thing we ever did - no more pain no more abcesses - brilliant. (It was horrible on the day though - quite upsetting for us - not for him - he was fine!!)) If you need them - get them - can not recommend highly enough