Ear Infection... What would you do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-12-2003, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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This morning my 2.5 yo son starting complaining his right ear hurt (something he's NEVER done before). I took him to our doctor who says he's got a "slightly red" ear. He says it's a mild infection. We're leaving for vacation (on a ten hour international flight) a week from today. Doctor really wants him on Augmenten to get rid of the infection as fast as possible so it doesn't get worse for our trip. I'm worried about such a strong antibiotic and using one at all for an ear infection. But I'm also concerned that if I wait and treat with herbs/homeopathic it may be lingering or getting worse just as we have to travel. He's had only one other ear infection - about a year ago - it lasted for 6 weeks while I treated it herbally and homeopathicly with everything under the moon. It kept getting worse and worse and finally was treated with Augmenten after 2 months. I need advice....
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#2 of 15 Old 03-12-2003, 07:11 PM
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I would have him take it and get it over with. I just flew with an ear infection and let me assure you I was crying on descent. I am 35 and I was crying like a baby it hurt so bad.

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#3 of 15 Old 03-12-2003, 08:25 PM
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Especially since this is the first ever I too would give the meds. Flying with an Ear Ache is actually also VERY dangerous because the ear popping stuff doesnt happen as it should etc. There is a website about this [and a book] but I cant remember exactly where but I am sure a search would work. The meds do take 7-10 days too which is probably also why doc is pushing starting asap.
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#4 of 15 Old 03-12-2003, 08:36 PM
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My Dh flew with an ear infection when he was a child. The pain was so severe he lost consciousness on descent. He still has problems with that ear whenever he has a cold, and some loss of hearing in the same ear.

I would go for the antibiotics this time. I don't like giving antibiotics for an ear infection right away either, but you don't have the luxury of waiting to see if this is something viral that will pass within a few days, or bacterial and therefore needing antibiotics. Give your son the antibiotics so you can be sure the infection is gone by the time you travel.
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#5 of 15 Old 03-13-2003, 02:15 AM
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I have not personally tried this, but got this info from someone I respect as having a very good knowledge base in homeopathy, etc. Onion juice in the infected ear. She she has done this for her son and seen improvement (I assume this means pain subsiding) within 30 min.

It is certainly worth a shot.
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#6 of 15 Old 03-13-2003, 01:31 PM
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Garlic oil has worked for us but I have to agree with most others: take the meds. I checked out your post to give my usual "weather it out, don't take the antibiotics" spiel but since you're flying I would take the antibiotics. It's just too big a risk to take IMO.

I had a very painful flight once and I wasn't even aware I had a cold or sinus thing going on. So even if your ds seems to be getting better without the antibiotics he still may be affected quite painfully once you take off.

Just remembered another relevant story. The teenage daughter of some friends of my parents was flying from California to Newfoundland, changing planes in Toronto. En route to Toronto she had allot of pain in her ears. By the time she landed she had lost some hearing. Turned out to be temporary, thankfully, but the airline would not let her continue her trip on to Newfoundland. She stayed with my parents for about a week until her ears cleared up and a doctor okayed her to fly.
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#7 of 15 Old 03-13-2003, 04:25 PM
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I would give him the meds. I tried the homeopathic route with my youngest with his first ear infection. It wasnt working and four weeks later I had a screaming baby with two bad ear infections and a bulging ear drum. Unfortunately the antibiotics didnt work at first and he had to have a shot two months later. (goop was running out of his ear and he had high fevers) It was a mess and poor baby!
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#8 of 15 Old 03-13-2003, 05:12 PM
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I flew with an ear infection once. I seriously prayed that my eardrum would burst so that I at least wouldn't have to deal with the pressure anymore. It was worse than child birth. 10 times worse easily. It hurt so bad that i refuse to fly anymore. i wouldn't hesitate to give my child medicine if we were flying. Someone (baushe and lomb?) makes numbing drops. If you really don't want to do antibiotics then I would recommend at least haveing those.

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#9 of 15 Old 03-13-2003, 07:40 PM
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I agree with everyone else - get him on the meds right away! Unless you want to cancel your flight, I would not subject him to the pain and possible injury to his eardrum. I am usually pretty much "no antibiotics unless absolutely necessary". But your situation sounds like it is absolutely necessary!
Hope he clears up quickly and you have a good trip.
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#10 of 15 Old 03-13-2003, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your help. My instincts said to get him on the antibiotics ASAP but I also felt uncomfortable making such a reactory decision after returning from an MD. I started his antibiotics last night and have started him on a homeopathic remedy too. I've also been giving him garlic ear drops to ease the pain. He hasn't been complaining about his ear today. Of course if his infection isn't better by the time we leave, we'll cancel our trip. NO vacation is worth the kind of pain you have described! Thanks again.
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#11 of 15 Old 03-13-2003, 07:52 PM
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My doctor always asks if I want antibiotics or if I want to try my own method of treatment and come back in 4 - 5 days. If it persists, it can get complicated, but I have never had one that persisted.

What I do for my girls:

colostrum -- one capsule emptied into small, clean dish and mixed into liquidy-paste with warm, clean water and put into ear with dropper (repeat 3 - 4 times a day, I usually do it after meals and before bed)

onion -- cut onion in half, soak facecloth in very warm water and squeeze excess water out, place facecloth over open end of onion and place over ear, this will also ease pain

chlorophyll -- 2 - 3 times regular dosage for 2 - 3 days

also, depending on personal beliefs regarding ingesting bovine colostrum, take 2 - 4 capsules per day, my daughters will eat the powder with a bit of yoghurt or plain followed by a drink or mixed with a bit of water

It's been my experience that it usually clears up quickly and if it hasn't improved in 3 days, you can fill the prescription which should only take 48 hours to kick in enough to ease your toddler's pain for the flight.

My two cents.

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#12 of 15 Old 03-14-2003, 03:02 PM
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You got good advice all around but I just wanted to add, there's something called Babydophollus (not sure of spelling) that is acidophillus for babies, which will take care of any rash or anything that might crop up because the antibiotic wipes out so much flora in the intestines. My ds had an earache once and got an antibiotic and he got a yeasty rash.
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#13 of 15 Old 03-14-2003, 10:46 PM
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Megieblue So sorry your to hear your son is suffering an earache. What a dilema! There are some wonderful alternatives to antiobiotics.

Allergies can create swelling of the mucous membranes & fluid in the ear. Some things I'd eliminate for the time being are dairy products, wheat, citrus, eggs, peanuts. All of those foods should be avoided even if your son is not allergic. They add stress to the immune system making it harder to heal.

Often times earaches are because of nutritional defiencies including Zinc & omega 3 & 6 oils.

Tips for soothing pain~
*Place child in upright position, prop their head in bed too.
*Use heat on the ear & neck 10-20 mn. several times a day
*A baked or blanched onion poultice. Either bake in oven for 15 mn. or blanch in boiling water for 1 mn., wrap in guaze & place over ear or behind it. This has been "the" cure at the first onset of earache & combined w/ ear oil. I use the girls winter head band to hold the onion in place, works beautiful!
*Make an infusion w/ olive oil using either garlic or my favorites, tea tree, lavendar, rosemary rubbed around the ears throat & nose. There are many other options regarding oils & herbs as well.

I hope he's well soon, poor little guy.
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#14 of 15 Old 03-16-2003, 10:07 PM
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Given the dr. said a slight red ear, I would wait a couple of days before using augmentin. Try homeopathics for a few days, (I've used the garlic/olive oil drops) and if his ear isn't better by the 18th or 19th, start the antibiotic. That way you'll have a good five days to help the ear along. My son has had many ear infections. When a dr. now tells me a slight ear infection, I wait a few days. They then go away on their own. If your sons ears were flaming red, I would opt for the antibiotics. I think you have some time. Good luck!

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#15 of 15 Old 03-17-2003, 02:29 PM
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I just wanted to chime in because my DS suffered several severe ear infections and we had multiple problems with antibiotics.

First, many ear infections are viral, not bacterial, so antibiotics won't do anything.

Second, Augmentin is a very, very strong antibiotic and can cause many side affects. Among them, rash, yeast infections and diarrhea. The diarrhea for my DS was so severe that he was in serious danger of dehydration.

You may have already started the antibiotics, so just being aware of these side effects is important, IMHO. If your child does start to have problems, the general recommendation is to stop the antibiotics immediately and call your doctor.

We had such severe problems with ear infections that we've done the following:

No dairy whatsoever.(We cycled cheese back into his diet in the last month or two with no ill side effects, but he still gets no cow's milk, yogurt or anything else)
Children's echinacea every day. (Found it in the "health food" section of our local grocery store)
Garlic and mullein oil for earaches. (Again, they had it in the "health food" section of our local grocery store.)

After multiple sessions with terrible, dual ear infections and unresponsiveness to antibiotics, we were desparate. We have now had no ear infections since December, so this is definitely working for us. Good luck to you!!

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