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Ear Infections Rss

I have a 16 month old boy, who has had three ear infections and three bouts of tonsilites since his first birthday. He has just spent the day and night in hospital with this ear infection with a very high temperature, chest infection and has not eaten for over four days. He is also refusing his milk and all I can manage to get into him is a little water or juice. A new doctor in hopsital mentioned that this could be a dairy alergy. Has anybody heard of diary allergies causing ear infections before?? Today we managed a couple of spoons of jelly and he's back to the doctor thisafternoon, but if anyone has any advice PLEASE help this desperate single mum!

Hi Darlene,
I can sympathise with you. Our 2yr old has had constant ear infections since she was a year old too. I actually suspect she had them earlier as we had to get her hearing checked at 5mths. We have had so many bouts of infections that my husband now hates antibiotics and we're in the process of seeing an ENT for gromits.
Last year she had 6 lots of antibitoics before she was placed on a long-term treatment (8wks worth!). We were up to our last GPs visit before the specialist when he said he was happy enough with her progress. Luck then stayed on our side until March this year when it began all over again. The ENT we're now seeing has said that he would have given her gromits if we were referred to him last year as it was warranted!
My daughter's ears are described as 'dull' but even when they look OK on the outside, when tested more closely she has fluid built up in her middle ear. Due to these problems her speech has suffered and we have had problems with her behaviour too, no doubt, due to her frustration at not being able to communicate easily. As a teacher I have seen so many children's education, speech, behaviour and self-esteem suffer from not having this condition treated. It actually has long-term effects on their lives which is very sad to see when something can be done about it.
We are experiencing the fevers, vomitting, aches and pains again and have been on antibiotics for the last 2 wks but had to go to the ER two nights ago (we saw the GP that morning but she went down hill afterwards) as we couldn't get her 40+ temp. to budge after 3 days. We were miffed when the Dr had the audacitiy to ask us why we were there as, "It's quite normal for a child to have a fever when they have an infection". Duh! I'd really like them to come over and do all my vomitty washing and cope with a moaning, clingy 2yr old & 3mth old with reflux. Some people obviously have no grasp on reality! I know my child and it was the right thing to do for her at the time. I'm sure that everyone secretly desires having to call grandparents in in the dead of night to sit with the youngest while they dash to the hospital after having very limited silent time and sleep for 3 days.
Sorry for my cynicism but... I've heard a wives tale & have yet to authenticate it that giving a child their milk while laying down can promote ear infections. I'm guilty of this as our daughter does have her milk lying down but if she sits up to have it, she walks around the room and it goes everywhere. If it is true then we certainly would be proof of it. I've actully heard this from a few different sources.
Its OK for children with tonsilitis and fever to be off their food, they will eventually begin to eat again but keep offering watered down juice and plain water to keep the hydration levels up. Our daughter hasn't eaten for 3 days either and has refused her milk too. I've just persevered with the offerings and every so often she has a little sip of something. So far the best we've gotten in is a yoghurt, sultanas and a Heinz gel.
We're off to the Dr again tonight and the specialist ENT in 2wks. Get a second opinion if you're not happy. We're also booked in at the end of the month to the Allergy Clinic at RPA to hunt for further connections to our daughter's continuing health issues.
Best of luck to you,
Peta

Peta, NSW, mum of 2 gorgeous girls

Hi Peta,

Thank you SO much for your reply, you have no idea how much it helped to have some advice. I moved from sydney to a rural area inland from Coffs Harbour when I was pregnant and have been here ever since, so as a first time mum (who was previously a career orientated workaholic/socialite!) this whole parenting game is very new for me and being in a fairly isolated area doesn't help when it comes to getting good doctors and sound advice. I have been very frustrated in the past when Riley has been sick as I've honestly felt like the doctors here have no idea. This is the worst ear infection Riley has had so far. What started as a cold on Tuesday lead to an ear infection by Friday. I took him to the doctor and was given Amoxil antibiotics, Friday night and saturday he went downhill big time and I took him to the local hospital on Saturday morning. He was seen by a locam doctor who changed his antibiotics to stronger ones and sent me home as they do not admit children in that hospital! Saturday night was worse again and by Sunday I drove and hour away to another hospital as his temperature was up to 39. We were admitted for the day and he was treated and xtrayed (as he also now has a chest infection, flemmy cough and runny nose) Riley had been vomitting up any medication I had been giving him the previous day along with any food or water I managed to get him to eat, so they gave him Panadol suppositries which helped lower the fever. (very traumatic day for a 16 month old's first visit to hospital) We were released from hospital at 7pm that night (with yet another antibiotic) when his fever had dropped and he managed to eat a bowl of jelly and had some water, but that was when the doctor mentioned that he could have a dairy allergy. After a long drive home and yet another sleepless night I feel almost at the end of the proverbial rope. He still wont eat (day 5 now) but he is having water and diluted juice. Now that I know that this is similar to what your little girl is going through I feel a little more empowered with knowledge. Thanks to your advice, I will endeavour to find and make appointment with a specialist tomorrow (don't care how far I have to drive) and I will also follow your lead and have him checked for allergies. I had to laugh at your comment on ringing the grandparents in for help! I had to do just that on Sunday night when we got home from the hospital. I finally got him to sleep, but he woke about three hours later absolutely screaming and couldn't be consoled unless I was sitting upright in a chair nursing him. I tried to take him to bed with me and tried all other positions so I could actually sleep but he wouldn't have it. Given that I had hardly slept for the last 5 days I couldn't even imagine a night sitting upright in a chair let alone manage it! Being a single mum is a tough job, but you almost need super human powers with a sick child! To all you single mums out there I give you the highest praise! and to you Peta, I can't believe you do all this AND you have a 3 month old with reflux. May the force be with you!! smile Thanks again for the advice, I'm feeling much more in control now and will be seeking specialist advice for Riley's health issues.
Hi Peta,

Excuse my ignorance on this one... but what is an ENT?
i had many problems with my son with ear infections he become resistant to antibotics because he had so many ear infections we got gromets put in and have only ever had 2 ear infections best thing we ever did would highly recommend asking ur doc about them
my son got his ears done before he was one he is 2 1/2 now and they are just starting to fall put
he is now talking properly too because the ear infections also delayed his speech
Hi Darlene, ENT is a Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Darn acronyms get me every time too!! My son has trouble with his ears though not as bad as you and Pete. Although the last time, well major time, he had glue ear and I know what you mean by screaming. My son suffered from reflux so he screamed but this was a different thing all together. He was inconsolable and wouldnt even let me touch him he was actually pushing me away. My husband was at work at the time and my Drs were not answering their phone. I was a complete mess and this was only over a 2 hour period. I too rang my parents in a right state screaming some sort of nonsense over the phone. Thankfully they were in the car and not far from my house.
My Dr and I have discussed my sons ears and he has just yet again finished another course of antibiotics. This time they actually stuck a tube up his nose and took some yuk to test it to see if there was an underlying problem. I can tell you he just loved this procedure.............not. It took 3 of us to hold him down. It turned out this time was just your common ugly bug that kids just love to share with each other. So he has a repeat for his antibiotics in case of any sign of a relapse. So the plan is now to wait and see what happens when winter is over. If he still has problems then we are off to an allergy clinic to see if anything may be causing this problem. If that doesnt work then we are off to the ENT. We stopped his swimming classes months ago as we thought they may have been causing an ear problem but he is still having the problems. I was told one time his ear problem was caused from teething. How they know this I will never know. I have now lost count of how many time he has had antibiotics. He actually developed oral thrush from one lot the hospital gave us. That was a very hard thing to get rid of. We had to sterilise EVERYTHING he put into his mouth & wipe anything his mouth had been in contact with. It took about 3 weeks to get rid of it. We now give him yoghurt every day to try to combat thrush in the future and when on antibiotics we give him Bio's the probiotic fermented drink. Fingers crossed but at this stage it seems to work. It is a terrible thing having to see your child in so much pain and being unable to help them. I dont think I have ever felt so useless or helpless in my life. If I could take the pain even if only for a few minutes I would. I hope things pick up for your little one, heres hoping their problems will be solved with the end of winter. Good luck!
Hi Missymoo,

My son has only just come good now after nearly two weeks. I have an appointment for him this Friday with a very well regarded naturopath to test for allergies, this is my first step then depending on the results, I will take him to see his pediatrician to arrange for a hearing test and I will also ask him about gromets. To be honest I've never even heard of them. My son's speach seems to be ok, actually from all reports he's way ahead of those his age, but I will definately be getting his hearing tested regardless. Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.
Hi Everyone,
I don't know about other states, but Hearing Tests for children are free in NSW's. There is a clinic at Penrith it is on Lethbridge (spelling) Street and there is a place at North Rocks at the Centre for Deaf Children (I think that is the name of the place), there are probably other centers as well. We have to take our 17 month old there in 2 weeks for his second hearing test. The first one was due to birth problems and the fact that I had a virus whilst pregnant that can cause deafness in children. This one is because of a couple of reasons the main being he had Meningitis in March, he has also had a few really bad ear infections and the Pediatrician it concerned about his speech development and the fact that sometimes he doesn't seem to hear us. Though Hubby and I are pretty sure the not hearing us is selective hearing due to the fact that he always seems to hear us when we ask him he wants go outside, to the park or if he wants a bottle. I am not sure what they will do this time, but for his first test they did a puppet show. What happened was that he sat in a room on my lap and they would make a sound every time that he respond he heard the sound and looked towards the window a puppet would pop up to say hello, I can’t remember how long it lasted for but it didn’t go for too long. Thankfully his first test was 100% and I am pretty confident that this one will be as well, though if it is not then that is something we will have to work with.

1 wonderful boy 6 and another on the way

Hi Janeen,

Thanks for your reply, I'd be interested to hear how you go with your son's ear condition and if indeed any of his problems are caused by alergies. My 16 month old has finally perked up in the last two days and is finally eating again. He has an appointment on Friday with a Chinese Naturopath actually who has come highly recommended to be by a few friends. I managed to jump the queue in the 3 month waiting list by explaining my sons story to them. I'll let you know how he goes. When you said your son was screaming and pushing you away - well that's exactly what my son was like. He was just inconsoleable and when I tried to nurse him and calm him down he would push and kick and scream and at one stage even slid down onto the floor and just layed there and screamed. I was almost in tears myself, it just broke my heart. I was very frightened being alone and not knowing what was wrong with him, luckily my mum lives around the corner and I was able to call her in the middle of the night to come over and help. I too share your frustration with some doctors and I'm sick of being told that "some kids are just prone to ear infections" or that "kids who weren't breastfed have weaker estacian tubes" There must be a reason why these kids are suffering the way they do as you certainly wouldn't call it "normal" or "commonplace". With regards to your son having developed oral thrush from Antibiotics, it just confirms my hatred of antibiotics, my son developed some sort of major rection after a does of Ceclor antibiotics and I rushed him to hospital with huge red welts all over his body. They called these target lesions and it was just awfull. They actually asked me if they could take photos of him in hospital to use for training purposes as he was such an extreme case. There was hardly an inch of white skin on his body and this too was heartbreaking. Anyway, I'm confident I will get to the bottom of this whole ear infection thing and wont stop til i do! Good luck with everything, let me know how you go.

Darlene
Hi Darlene. Well an update from my last post!! My son stopped the antibiotic on the Friday and was sick (running green nose, pulling at this ears, whinging and off his food) on the Friday PM. By Sunday he had developed conjunctivitis. Thankfully we had the repeat for the antibiotic as you know its just impossible to find a Dr on the weekends. Its strange you mention the Ceclor, as this is the one my son is on & he developed a red rash. I showed the Dr and all he said was it was nothing to worry about!!! Easy for him to say. We went back to the Drs on Monday mainly to get a medical certificate for my sons day care and we now have a referal to a ENT. Our appt is on the 23.09.03. I am not sure what they will do but I am not too keen on the whole grommet thing. I know that some children really need them but for me it will be a last resort. I took him to his chiropractor on Tuesday and they said he had a few things out which I knew as he had started to sleep on his stomach again. He seemed like a new boy when he came home and that hasnt change. I noticed in the ear that he has had problems with a strange dark piece of wax had come out of his ear??. He still has a runny nose but it is either clear or white which is a good sign. He has another appt on Friday for the chiropractor. I am hoping this may help him. If not my next step is acupunture. My sister in law took her daughter years ago for ear problems and they fixed it. She said they use laser in the children. So now I have a dead line of the 23.09.03. Please let me know how you went with the chinese herbalist as I was wondering about that myself. I used to see one years ago for sinsus problems the Drs couldnt fix. They fixed me and a few other problems in no time. I used to see Ruth Sharkey who is now know for her work in fertility problems. I am so sick of sticking all different sorts of medicine into my child and ofter wonder what his kidneys look like. My son is at the point he just opens his mouth and takes what ever you give him.
I was speaking to a lady the other day who asked about my son in general. I mentioned he was a reflux baby. She said her children had been as well. Then she said so now you are having the nose and ear problems no doubt?? I was shocked about this, she said her children did and it stands to reason when you are vomiting all the time the vomit not only comes out of your mouth. When you put it like that it does make sense what she was saying. Maybe only a coincidence but I will keep it to the back of my mind. When it comes down to it you really have to fix yourself these days as no one really listens to you. I stopped counting the number of times I thought today when I see the Dr I am going to ask this- this- and this. Then before I know it I have been seen, paid the bill, out the door and back in the car with my head still reeling. They just cant wait to get you out the door fast enough. I am almost to the point where I really question does my son really need to see a Dr due to the way you are treated.
My hat goes off to you doing this on your own. My husband is a shift worker so I can never count on him being home or awake. Some times I feel like a "single parent". I am not the sort of person who enjoys having to ask people for help. I have always been a very independant person so it takes a lot of pride swallowing for me. I have learnt a lot about myself having a child. I am now less selfish than I was. It is a very humbling experience but one I wouldnt change for the world.
Please keep me informed on how you go!!
Take care
Hi Janeen,

Thanks for the update, such a shame you're having such a tough time, but believe me - you're not alone! I too am losing faith in the doctors, when I find a good one I'll be sticking to him/her like glue! Well Riley had his visit with the Chinese Homeopath today and all went well. He has confirmed that Riley has an alergy to dairy products and a wheat and yeast intollerance. All of these can be rectified with about 6 months of change of diet and homeopathic remedies which I purchased today. The doctor also said that my sons immune system was very low and his small intestine was weak due to all the antibiotics. I already hated antibiotics before today, but now I am resolved to never using them again unless really really warranted. He has given me a homeopathic treatment to give him should he get another ear infection and said this will clear it up between 3-5 days. I have used it myself recently and it worked wonders! and the good thing about it was that it's gentle and natural!

So basically where we are at now is... Riley is off all dairy products (milk, cheese,yoghurt etc) and is now on soya or goats products. His wheat intake must be lowered and he needs to cut out all yeast. The homeopathic remedies he is on are drops to help restore his digestive tract, Lactobac or Asidophilus to help restore the damage done to his gut from the antibiotics, zinc which helps the absorbtion, Engystol which will help improve his immune system, drops to improve lymphatic system and Tresos B which is basically a multi vitamin and antioxidant for children which also helps with circulation and general wellbeing. He has also suggested Flaxseed oil which apparently is good for all kids to help improve mental development. I know this sounds like allot but each is only a couple of drops here and there and some gets dropped into his juice, others into his dinner etc so it doesn't seem that bad. I guess the biggest brain strain now will be changing his diet considering just about everything he used to eat is out! I'm prepared to go to the effort as I really feel that this is going to help him regain his health and make him a well balanced little boy. If for some reason it doesn't work, I guess we're off to the ENT, but that is a last resort for me at this stage. The tablets we have on hand should he get another ear infection are called Traumeel. They are homeopathic and basically are a natural anti inflamatory which assists in soft tissue damage, muscle aches and pains and also cold and flu symptoms! I was recently given these for a bad back after a visit to the osteopath and have had chronic back pain for year now I was willing to try anything. To my suprise, my pain started to decrease within 48 hours and now two weeks later I am almost pain free. I also took these when I felt a cold and sore throat coming on and within a day I was fine! If Riley gets another ear infection I'm hoping these will work for him too so we can avoid the antibiotics.

I know how you feel when you say you're sick of giving your child medication and are worried about his kidneys and liver etc, I was too. I was giving him panadol, neurophen, antibiotics and fenergen from time to time. This can't be good for a brain new little tummy. I can highly recommend a visit to a homeopath for piece of mind and for your child's wellbeing. There is also a book you might like to try, I haven't got it yet, but he recommended it. It's called "It could be allergy and it can be cured" by Phillip Alexander. And Janeen, don't be affraid to ask for help. Sometimes you just really need it for your own mental health as well and if you're really stressed out and unwell it's going to be more difficult for you to give your son the care he needs. I called my mum at 10.30pm the other week when riley was screaming during the night because I had hardly slept in two weeks and it was just doing my head in. When she came she was able to settle him when I couldn't. They definately pick up on your tension the little buggers. Anyway, hang in there, there's light at the end of the tunnel....we hope....smile
Hi Everyone,
I understand how you feel when the little ones are sick. Camryn can't be consoled when she has an ear infection either. She doesn't know what she wants to do with herself & I often end up sleeping with her in my arms sitting upright on the lounge. I'm so glad I have my hubby's support as those times are hard (the pity is she generaly only wants me when she's sick but at least now I can get my hubby to look after #2 while I look after Camryn). We find even when she isn't in any obvious pain, she hates to be kissed on her head around her ears. It was easily 2wks before she picked up after her last bout & she still is quite clingy which is not at all her personality.
We had Camryn to the chiro with her ears too & amazingly so, she started to perk up the next day & her behaviour had begun to improve! He sugested that we put her onto rice milk or goats milk as soya milk has a protein in it that children's bodies don't cope with very well.
Cam has has dark mucky discharge from her ears for months. I believe the chiro helped as her left ear returned to 'normal' between appts. at the ENT. We went again last night & paid top dollar to be kept waiting 1 1/2hrs for the privillage to see him. I so love drs!!!! Anyhow my suggestion is to ring before you go to any appts to see if they're behind time as Cam ended up having umpteen tantrums & toilet trips while we were waiting. By the time we actually got to see the dr, it was 1/2hr before her bed time & she didn't want a bar of him.
Basically the ENT cleaned her ears out with a special tool, checked the ear drums & middle ear fluid levels. Cam's right ear has refused to improve even though she's has 3 lots of antibiotics & been to the chiro. We are now booked in to have gromits in both ears on Oct 8. Hopefully she'll improve after this. They take between 3mth & 3yrs to work their own way out & generally the ear is improved thereafter as it's been 'dried-out'.
We go to the allergy clinic next wk & my sister has a great book from there regarding eating with allergies. I'll get the details off her & post it next time.
I understand how you feel from going from a workaholic/socialite to a Mum!!! I'm already back at work after my second who is 15wks old. I went back after 6mths wih my first as I needed the adult interaction. It's amazing how your priorities change once you become a Mum. What was once so important doesn't even rate a mention when placed next to caring for a precious little person all of your own creation. I have the book you're referring too. It's been sitting right under my nose for years & I forgot I had it. I'd better get it out & read it from cover to cover!
I hope all is improving,
Peta

Peta, NSW, mum of 2 gorgeous girls

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