Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: West Papio Creek Trail
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I'm a little biased toward antibiotics in babies with ear infections for a couple of reasons. One, if he's in a lot of pain, you might not completely realize how uncomfortable he is, because he's not able to communicate it well enough.
Two, although the research on this is conflicting, there is some evidence that a loss of hearing from an ear infection (during the infection) can impact babies' language development - if he can't hear well for a couple of weeks, and then it happens again... it adds up.
If it were me - I would treat a "pink" ear myself (an infection that wasn't far advanced.) I would not treat a "red" and pussy one - that's a pretty serious infection. I'd give him the antibiotics this time and then get myself an otoscope (from eBay - a decent home one is $20 or so).
With the otoscope, you can track the improvement of the infection yourself - an Ear Nose Throat guy told me that the time between when we got the antibiotics and when our regular pediatrician wanted us back for a check up (3 weeks) was too *short* and we were getting false positives at the check up. He said to give it at least a month to stop being pink.
And (and this is it, I promise!) you might as for a prescription for drops called Oralgan (I'm misspelling it but it's "ore - al - gen") which keep the ear from hurting so much. Don't use them on a puss-y ear, though.
Good luck, mama! Our four year old grew out of ear infections, finally, and I feel like we learned to be judicious about the antibiotics along the way.
Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case