Ear Tubes or Singulair - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, DS, 14 months, has had quite a few ear infections, with consistent fluid in his right ear and moderate hearing "loss" in same ear.

We are trying to avoid tubes and surgery, so the doc prescribed Singulair as a stopgap. He has no other risk factors: no daycare, no younger or older siblings, no bottle, breastfed, no dairy. I also do not think he has allergies, but who knows!

What do you all think? I am not wild about either option, but I am also not wild about his lack of hearing and the constant pain.

Does anyone know any side effects of Singulair or similar drugs in small toddlers? Besides what is on the insert...I mean, real life experience? Would you all try the meds, or go right for the tubes? I'll be honest, we do not do chiropracty, a solution I saw offered in other threads, hence, the starting of a new one!

Thanks so much ladies!

Meg
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#2 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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Neither. I did both with my now 6 year old and completely regret it. When my toddler started going through the same things I decided to try a chiro. He hasn't had an ear infection since.

Honestly, my dh was completely against seeing a chiro but now that we tried it and it worked wonderfully, he's all for it. I would not give another child Singulair and I see no reason to put a young child through surgery (even minor surgery) unless I'd completely exhausted all other options. Why are you against chiro?
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#3 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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Ear tubes. 100%. I put off getting them for wwaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. My ds didn't have a ton of infections, but he had significant hearing loss due to fluid.

Looking back, it was not the horrible event I was imagining. I convinced them to let me stay with ds until he was fully sedated. That was surprisingly only a mild trauma for him (and they explained that as people are going out, sometimes they really look freaked for just about 15 or 30 seconds right before they go OUT, so not to worry if that happens..it just means the sedation is kicking in). I say surprising because my kid has a lot of sensory issues.

Anyway, the procedure was short. Within a few minutes of him waking up, they brought him to me. We cuddled for a minute, and then he started eating. He bounced right back to normal. They actually told him to slow down because he could get nauseated from eating normally after being sedated. Within a few minutes of that, he wanted to go play. Because of the sedation, I had to have my arms right there to catch him in case he fell, which was hard only because he was soooooo active right away. It was like nothing ever happened.

This completely cleared up his hearing. Our follow-up sedated hearing test was within the range of normal, while pre-tubes it was moderate hearing loss (honestly, I didn't mind that...we are a signing family anyway, but eventually the ped said at like 8 or 9 he'd start hearing normally and then he'd have a lot of speech catch-up he'd want to do...he has other developmental delays, so I felt it better to give him any advantage I could).

Since that time, I've heard so many other parents comment "why did we wait so long?" after their kids get tubes.

Honestly, if the alternative you are looking into right now is chronic use of medication, I would go for this surgery any day! I did worry because we are a family of water-babies about swimming and stuff, but as long as his ear plugs are in for showers and swims, it is no big deal at all. If you forget them, you can just do your best to dry them out and put in some antibiotic drops for a couple days.

Of course, you could always try chiro or homeopathy, etc. first. But I personally wouldn't wait with my kid in pain...I'd schedule the surgery (since it takes a month or two to get in), try the alternatives, and cancel if things seemed to be changing.

Have you had an allergist test your kido?

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#4 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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Singulair has steroids. Google long term use of steroids. It's not a good thing for anyone at any age. I would avoid use of it with a toddler - or anyone - unless I absolutely knew that it was going to be only occasional and very short lived.

My DH has been prescribed it for twice daily use and because of his concerns about the side effects - knowing that he will need it long term - he really limits his use and only takes it when he absolutely has to.

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#5 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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Ear tubes. It was a total blessing for us to see a happy boy instead of one with constant pain. Our son has had complications from the tube ,a hole never closed, and after two attempts to close it, we now see an inner ear specialist who will do the surgery when he is 7. But I still have no regrets because he was soooooo miserable.

He was on Singulair for quite some time but I took him off of it. I am not comfortable with the side effects (my son had nightmares which is a potential side effect).

Good luck!
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#6 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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I will say this about the tube surgery. Yes, it cured his ear infections, but he had other issues we weren't aware of and the doctors couldn't figure out. Had I known that, I would have gone with a chiro and cured all his problems instead of doing surgery for one.

I do think in some cases, tubes are the way to go. But never as a first option.
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#7 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I still am unclear on why she prescribed Singulair, unless she hoped it might dry up the built up fluid. But I was fuzzy from lack of sleep at our app't yesterday. I don't think he has allergies, and I hate to give this kind of drug to a child under two. But then surgery..ughh.

I think we will end up going with the tubes, as I am concerned that he has had fluid in his right ear for months. We have tried treating, not treating, and they just are not resolving. As I am typing this, a little voice inside my head is saying, nah, just wait it out. But the pain for him is awful, and I do worry about speech delays.

As for seeing the chiro, well, I do not want to offend or anything, so I will simply leave it at I do not subscribe to chiro for children. I do not see how that could help his tubes, and he is never sick, so I can't relalybuy into the chiro--better immunity theory here. All ear infections save one have been cold and flu asymptomatic. Many of them have coincided with a tooth coming in, though I do not know if that is correlation or causation.

Thank you everybody for sharing. If you have more, I am open to it!
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#8 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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You wrote he isn't doing dairy, so I am wondering if you are? With the nursing he could be reacting to that. It's interesting it's only when he is teething. That is the only time ds has ever had a runny nose, etc. I am a big fan of chiro work, get it regularly and my child does too. It is awesome unless you have a bad practitioner. You could always try an osteopath if that is more your thing. Craniosacral is awesome too. I don't have anything else to offer, just wanted to throw it out there about you consuming dairy/nursing connection just in case.

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#9 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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Some studies about chiro adjustments & otitis media, just fyi:

http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/chiropractic/ear.htm

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#10 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottomsup View Post
As for seeing the chiro, well, I do not want to offend or anything, so I will simply leave it at I do not subscribe to chiro for children. I do not see how that could help his tubes, and he is never sick, so I can't really buy into the chiro--better immunity theory here. All ear infections save one have been cold and flu asymptomatic. Many of them have coincided with a tooth coming in, though I do not know if that is correlation or causation.
Have you had chiro treatment yourself? And do you understand that chiro in kids is NOTHING like the quick, forceful adjustments used on adults?

Quote:
Chiropractors specializing in children use very specific, gentle techniques to care for children. On the very young, the adjustment is as light as a finger touch. Doctors of Chiropractic who are members of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association have taken post-graduate classes on specific techniques for pregnant mothers, infants and children to enhance their skills in this field.
I have several friends whose children have been completely cleared of ear infections by chiro, and while I understand the fear involved (mess with his spine! : ) I think it is a valid option. IMO it doesn't have to do with general immunity. The reason chiro works, from what I've read, is pure physiology - in a baby/toddler, the eustachian tube does not drain as easily as it does in older kids and adults, due to the angles. A chiro can adjust any out-of-alignment bones and free up the tube to drain again...which is exactly what tubes will do, but chiro care does it with no surgery and less trauma.

You might be interested in these study results

Quote:
A promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging in age from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results show that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits. The six-month period included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks. Joan M. Fallon, D.C., the author of the study and the chiropractor who treated the children in the study, states that this pilot study can serve as a starting point from which the chiropractic profession can begin to examine its role in the treatment of children with chronic ear infections. She asserts that large-scale clinical trials need to be undertaken in the field.
I know you said chiro wasn't for you, but you hadn't mentioned knowledge of this aspect, so I decided to post anyway.

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#11 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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Well I will say tubes from my own personal experience with them. As a child I suffered from repeated ear infections, and they *probably* stemmed from dairy, but that wasn't researched much in that day. I was 5 when they finally put them in, I was nearly deaf from all the fluid in my ears, I thank my parents for finally doing this because immediately I could hear and my infections ceased. It may have been helped with no dairy, but it was the early 80's and that was just kinda unheard of, when I told my mom that I thought my problems were from all the milk I was pushed she felt like sh**(I was 19 and I may have been a little harsh about the evidence I had seen).

Anyway, I know there are many people who are anti ear tubes, and other practices but for me it was such a relief, I wished that they had done it sooner. HTH.

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#12 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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Oh! Wanted to add a friend whose 2-year-old has chronic ear infections has been advised to cut out gluten in addition to dairy. Might be worth a shot.

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#13 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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I wondered the same thing about how could chiro care help with ear infections, but it really really does work. I completely agree with everything Karen1968 posted. Both my boys see a chiro monthly. My oldest, who had the tubes, Singulair, asthma, allergies, etc, is completely off all meds and isn't having any trouble at all. He's a perfectly healthy kid now. She did a scan of his spine and the places were it was out of alignment were worse right behind his lungs. Unbelievable that he'd had so many breathing problems.

I wasn't a believer in it either until we tried it. Kids are easy to treat with chiropractic care, much more so than adults.

I'm curious, have you treated the ear infections with antibiotics?
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#14 of 18 Old 06-12-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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I would also try a chiro or an osteopath. My friend took her ds to an osteopath after he got 5 infections and the doctor wanted to put tubes in and after one visit, he never had another ear infection again. Also, taking antibiotics kills all the good bacteria in our gut and weakens our immune system. That's why when a child gets an ear infection and takes antibiotics, they usually get them again and again. I would recommend giving him probiotics and a fish oil supplement to boost his immune system.
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#15 of 18 Old 06-13-2008, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again. We were up all night with a cranky, hurting kid again, so not thinking too clearly this morning, but I appreciate all the input!
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#16 of 18 Old 06-13-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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You should check out this book. Many of the reviewers were able to avoid tubes and have had a lot of success with ending chronic ear infections.

Healing Childhood Ear Infections: Prevention, Home Care, and Alternative Treatment

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#17 of 18 Old 06-13-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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oesteopathic medicine is the foundation knowlege in which chiro stems from. It also is an accepted form of medicine from the AMA so is covered by most insurances. I would go there first as cranial sacral work is beyond gentle and can be very effective. Also I would suggest using garlic/mullen drops as a preventitive action. They soothe and are antiseptic. We have used them with every cold and sign of irritation, and have never had a ear infection.
Good Luck!

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#18 of 18 Old 06-13-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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Hey mama, I just wanted to chime in and say that DD got tubes two years ago, and I would do it all over again. Unlike your DS, her ear infections weren't cold/flu asymptomatic, so she was really sick ALL the time, though she did have other immune issues at the time. We tried a few different things (homeopathy, elimination diet, garlic oil, etc.) to avoid tubes, and none of them worked. I finally got to the point where I decided that it was not worth the risk of hearing loss, and it was not fair for me to experiment with different treatments because she was in pain and was constantly ill because of her ears. We did the tubes, and they are still in nearly two years later, and she has not had an ear infection since...and her health has improved dramatically since then.

If you go forward with the tubes, find an ENT and a hospital that will fit in with your needs. Our hospital had a policy that kids were to be woken up from sedation and given tylenol before the parents were allowed to come back. DD was 2 at the time, and I told the ENT that I wanted to be there as soon as she was taken to recovery so that I could be there when she woke up. The ENT agreed, but the nurses still woke her up and tried to give her medication without me there, and DD freaked out. It's not a huge deal, and she is obviously ok, but now I know what to look for if we ever have to do something like that again. She was in quite a bit of pain when she woke up, and she was down for about a day, but after that, she was totally fine. And I have heard of lots of kids who are raring to go the same day as the surgery. So it all depends on the kid, I guess.

Good luck with whatever you choose, and I hope your DS's ears are better soon!
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