How long do you wait for ear infections to clear up on their own? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-01-2010, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read a lot about how ear infections should and should not be treated but I have yet to find much information on how long it takes to clear up without the use of antibiotics (assuming they are bacterial).

My youngest dd is getting another one (I think) and she just finished with double ear infections 3 weeks ago along with bronchitis. We did wait 6 days but she just got worse. In the past I've waited 3-4 days with my older dc's but they never improved on their own. Does it take a really long time? How do you get through it, aside from pain medication the whole time? My dc's have always been absolutely miserable when their ears are infected.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#2 of 14 Old 03-01-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I would wait 3-5 days depending on how miserable they were but if it wasn't clearing up by then I would take them in to see someone.

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#3 of 14 Old 03-01-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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I'd stop dairy and add probiotics.


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#4 of 14 Old 03-01-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I would wait 3-5 days depending on how miserable they were but if it wasn't clearing up by then I would take them in to see someone.
I agree. If it hasn't resolved in a few days I believe a Dr's visit is in order as on occasion ear infections can need antibiotics to heal. Ear infections can be incredibly painful and would hate to see my little one suffering longer than necessary.
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#5 of 14 Old 03-01-2010, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
I'd stop dairy and add probiotics.


Pat
We already do so little dairy. I'll look into the probiotics. Thanks :-)

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#6 of 14 Old 03-01-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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#7 of 14 Old 03-01-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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We already do so little dairy. I'll look into the probiotics. Thanks :-)
For some people, very little is just as bad as tons and tons.

For DS, I massaged around his ear to help with drainage, the pain went from waking up crying at 10pm to asleep by 1am for him. He got an EI because I let him have some of one of the foods he is intolerant of--usually he can tolerate a little chocolate, but I should've known better at the end of a particularly bad cold. Dairy is a common allergen (in the broadest sense of being problematic) but I think really any allergen can have the same effect. Our situation being a case in point.

I'd find someone who does either CST or chiro experienced with kids. Our DO gave me other good suggestions, from a structural standpoint, to encourage drainage.
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#8 of 14 Old 03-02-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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I'd find someone who does either CST or chiro experienced with kids. Our DO gave me other good suggestions, from a structural standpoint, to encourage drainage.
IMO the chiro helps but everyone is different.

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#9 of 14 Old 03-02-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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The standard used in studies on the "wait and see" approach is 48 to 72 hours. In my experience kids do get better that quickly-I've never known one to go 72 hours except my son whose ears just weren't made to drain I guess. His brother would recover in 24 hours and he would be going for a week or more. I wouldn't do that again knowing what I know now about ear infection complications. I wouldn't wait over 72 hours. He did end up with mastoiditis and, among other things, ear tubes at 3.5. I wish we had done them way back when we were struggling and waiting out ear infections.

His brother and my friends kids have never held an ear infection over 48 hours. His brother had confirmed Hib (bacterial ear infection) and was still better in under 48 hours.

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#10 of 14 Old 03-04-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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hi mamas,

i need advice, please!
i took my ds to the doctor yesterday, he's had a cough since last friday and a runny nose, but what scared me was the fever which he had 2 nights last week...then he was all happy until monday night when the fever came back and he seemed very uncomfortable. i wanted to make sure his lungs were clear, so i took him in. the doc checked his ears, then told me he has an infection in his left ear and sure enough my boy needs abx!
i was very surprised, since my ds hasn't showed any signs of ear discomfort until last night, when he woke up crying and wouldn't stop for 2 hrs straight.
he was telling me that his right ear hurts ...hm, is is possible for the other ear to get infected in a matter of hrs after leaving the doc's office?
unfortunately my ds would scream and wouldn't let me put the warm onion to his ear. i have no other natural remedies at home at the moment, and i am really trying to avoid the abx!! by the way, it is called azithromycin, i never heard of this one before, doesn't matter i hate them all anyway.
i won't be able to get any of the natural stuff until weekend and dh is pushing me to give ds the abx asap, because according to him there's nothing else out there that could help ds with the pain and the infection to go away. ds is 22 months, the fever is back again this morning, but no crying or signs of pain. what do i do???
i still haven't given him any of the abx, but i know the fever is here again to fight the infection. how do i know since when is his ear infected? should i wait a couple more days? i'm sure the infection was there before we went to the doctor. is there anything else in a household one could use as a natural pain relief besides the warm onion or the garlic oil. i will feel very guilty if i'll have to start him on the abx, but at the same time dh won't leave me alone if i won't do a thing once ds wakes up in pain again.

sorry, that this got so long, but i'm hoping someone knows about a simple natural remedy for ear pain until i can get the oil of oregano and the tree tea oil...and the rest of the good/powerful stuff.

TIA!!!!!!
HAVE A NICE DAY EVERYONE

Kristina-mummy to Jasmine and David :
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#11 of 14 Old 03-04-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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My DS, 3, just went to the Dr.'s on Tuesday becasue he spiked a 105 fever. He had a nasty ear infection, even though he didn't seem terribly bothered by it. She prescribed antibiotics, but I am using our old standby.

Garlic/Mullein Ear Drops - made by Gaia Children - I have used these with all of my children and have had great results. You warm the drops and then put them in your DC ears 3x a day. The first couple of times they are resistant but the warm drops are very soothing to ouchy ears. If you are nursing you can put them in while your DC is feeding (works with my 16 month old).It's Thursday now and he is running around like a mad man. You can also make your own drop with olive oil and garlic - I am sure you could find a recipe if you googled it.

Stay away from all dairy and any cold natured foods, i.e. excessive fruit, juice can make it worse. Try tea with honey if your DC will drink it, chix broth, and lots of rest.

I find that massaging the base of his ear after I put the ear drops in works and also "steaming" them in the bathroom to keep everything loose and draining, then rub them down with some warming vapor rub.

The other thing to remember is that, it's not the degree of the fever that matters as much as how the child is acting. Of course at 105 he was quite lethargic but some kids just run hot.

Ear infections are famous for jumping from ear to ear, that's why it is important to treat both ears at the same time. I get my DS to lay down and I will put a cartoon on for him while he sits with his drops. If you really want to stay away from the anbtcs you can try a dose of tylenol to reduce the swelling and he may be more receptive to the warm onion or drops.

If you do use the antibiotics I would get him on a good probiotic ASAP. You should not use yogurt for this. Something from your local healthfood store would be best. And keep him out of the wind. Hope this helps! Good Luck
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#12 of 14 Old 03-04-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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oh, thanks so much..i'm just sitting here and hoping things won't get any worse than they're at the moment. no crying, he keeps nursing, but there is no way i could hold him down to drip some BM into his ears..it goes all over his cheeks or leaks out before even reaching deeper inside his ear...i remember it was much easier with my dd to do these things, ds is fighting me with all his might. unbelievable.
i am not afraid of the fever, i always let the fever run its course...even though it is very hard to watch your child like that. i remind myself over and over how beneficial it is.

when you say "steam" them in the bathroom-do you mean just running the hot shower and stay in there without actually sitting in the tub?
i do have eucalyptus oil, but i guess it has no use in his case, does it?

what about squeezing out on onion for its juice? how does one do that? and once i get some juice out of the onion, do i drop it into the ear just like that or should i heat it as well? that is if i could be successful to drop anything into his ears without him kicking and fighting. it's frustrating to see that anything i've tried so far to put into his ear comes back out. i've just tried some BM a while ago as he's sleeping on his side, as soon as i got some in there, there he went-turning to his other side and i saw the milk coming back out, ugh.
also, which one is more effective in the case of ear infections: oregano oil or GSE?
which probiotic would you recommend?

once again-thanks so much for your input!!

Kristina-mummy to Jasmine and David :
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#13 of 14 Old 03-04-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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The wait and see approach (most doctors would do that at 22 months) is that you get the script and then wait 48 hours (or so...up to 72) to see if the child gets better on his or her own. Usually they will. Better means no fever or pain. Fluid might remain but the infection is cleared.

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#14 of 14 Old 03-04-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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well, i did ask the doctor if he recomends the wait and see what happens approach-but he gave me that look, as if i wanted nothing more than cause my child more suffering. he said, NO you don't ever do that!; with ear infections the kids must take the antibiotics right away. i got so mad, but kept my cool and my manners and made sure to tell him that most doctors these days would tell you to wait a day or two before starting on the meds.

my ds has been pretty active all day after his long nap, no fever and only a little runny nose. but i fear the night.

is it ever possible for an ear infection to clear up on its own, i mean without doing anything - giving the child anything if there is no pain? i'm thinking the body knows best and should be able to heal itself, but again i haven't had to go through that yet with my kids.

thank you ladies!!

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