Eardrum ruptured? What to do? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. DS was up a large part of last night screaming. I was not sure what was wrong with him at the time (he is really too young to tell me), but I suspected that it might be an ear infection. He also seemed gassy, though, has a cough, and may be getting some more molars!! Everything at once.

Anyway, this morning, there was some discharge (sort of golden brownish) on the outside and inside of his left ear. Does this sound like the eardrum has ruptured? I did not see any blood. I am contemplating taking him to the doctor today but I am sure that they will prescribe an antibiotic. He is allergic to amoxicillin and perhaps all penicillins so I really do not want to go this route. BUT, if the eardrum has ruptured, is it essential to start the antibiotics to aid the healing process? I do not want him to suffer any long-term hearing damage, of course.

Anyway, how do you determine whether an eardrum has ruptured, and if so, what should you do? If there is discharge, does this always mean that the eardrum has ruptured? TIA!!!!!!! At this point, he is up playing, eating, and reading books. He has tugged on the ear with the discharge twice since waking. His cough and gassiness also seem better.

ETA: This morning his temperature was 100.7
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#2 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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well i just had an ear infection. i'm not an expert but i can share what i learned.

yeah any discharged could mean it is ruptured. do NOT put anything it in until you are sure it is not ruptured!!!!!

i would go to the dr just so he can look. just because he prescribes antibiotics does not mean you have to get them filled. i know that an ear infection might clear up on it's own. i don't know much about ruptured ear drums b/c i didn't have one. i don't know what you can do for the pain without going to the dr. since you can't put anything in it, you would have to give him something oral. whatever you are comfortable with...not sure what is recommended like highland's homeopathic tablets or children's tylenol/motrin.

good luck. that is just what i would do. if you wait a few days you might not be able to get in before the holidays. that way you can have the script and only fill it if you feel comfortable doing so. maybe he will say for sure what is wrong and you will feel tons better TRUST ME. maybe someone else will have better advice.
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#3 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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My son's eardrum ruptured in July. Even with antibiotic treatment (which we did because his ear bled for several days) and a surgery, the rupture has not been repaired. We are now looking at a second surgery because our son has hearing loss due to the rupture.

I would definitely take your son to the doctor if I were you. Simply because the doctor prescribes and antibiotic doesn't mean you have to use it, but at least you will have some idea of what you're dealing with.

Btw, ask for a topical antibiotic (drops) rather than an oral. Our otologist prefers drops because then it's not a systemic antibiotic.

Namaste!
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#4 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 01:57 PM
 
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I agree, if the ear is ruptured you can use drops to get inside his ear. If the eardrum was not ruptured you would have to use systemic antibiotics if you chose to go that route. One or two ruptures is probably okay but you should try to find ways to prevent it from happening again. Each time it ruptures it forms scar tissue, and that can lead to life-long hearing loss. I have a friend whose dd has hearing loss due to repeat ruptures. My dd had a lot of EI and we got her ear tubes to avoid ruptures.

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#5 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 01:58 PM
 
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I had my ear drum rupture several times when I was young and from what I can remember once it ruptured, the discharge, I felt some relief like it took pressure off of my ear. But I would still go in and get it checked out, its good for them to have it on record. I know once my same ear drum kept rupturing they put tubes in my ears. Hope everything goes well.
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#6 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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My son has had two ear infections ( he's almost six). In the first one, baaad, his eardrum ruptured. I didnt give him antibiotics because I had read a really interesting paper by a doc which said before the advent of antibiotics, earinfections were an acute condition, where the pt would come to the er in horibble pain, rupture and then it would be over. They became chronic after the use of antibiotics became prevalent.
Second one (happened 2 1/2 years later), I knew he had an ear infection, gave him garlic oil, and it did not rupture. The concern is with several ruptures, there may be scarring, hearing loss. I wouldn't put anything in the ear after a rupture, either.
He is fine now. Go with your gut, what feels right for you, if it's antibiotics, do it. mama knows best!
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#7 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 02:06 PM
 
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We had a rupture and were told to do nothing about it just look for signs of infection (fever etc...) this was by the naturopath. We were told to put NOTHING NOTHING in the ear as anything put into the ear could introduce bacterium.

A long time ago, they used to rupture the drums themselves to relieve the infection. The pain goes away once the drum has burst.

The fluid coming out of dd's ear was clear with a few strands of whitish puss.

You just have to make sure that you do not let this happen too much or the drum can lose elasticity and cause hearing loss. Once should not be a problem.
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#8 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to thank you all for your thoughtful & helpful posts. I did end up taking DS to the ped. office today. Though I had gotten a temp reading of 100.7 this morning, at his appt. at 1:00 pm, DS had no fever (no fever reducers given). Nurse practitioner ("NP") looked in the ear and said that she thought the drum had ruptured considering the amount of discharge (which I had left dried on his ear so that she could see). There had been no more discharge today until she looked in his ear....Since the appointment, however, I notice that more is now running out....

Anyway, she prescribed antibiotic drops ("Ciprodex"). I had thought that nothing was to be put in the eardrum if ruptured, including antibiotic drops, before reading your posts and talking to NP. She explained that the drops are used for people with tubes b/c the drops can get into the middle ear through the tubes and that a ruptured eardrum would also provide an opening. So, I am happy, at least, that he will not be taking a systemic antibiotic for the moment. She did provide an additional RX of Zithromax, if still needed after 48 hours on the drops alone.

Some of you mentioned that one should try and prevent the eardrum from rupturing. Any suggestions on how to do this (without antibiotics)? I was not even aware that DS may have an ear infection until last night, which is when the rupture also occurred. I do osteopathic manipulation techniques as recommended in Dr. Mary Ann Bloch's book "No More Antibiotics: Treating Ear Infections the Natural Way" if I suspect an ear infection. I try to do these if DS just has a cold as a prentative measure, but DS is a very independet toddler who is not always on board with the massages. I will have to get some of the garlic and mullein drops as well, although now I am hesitant to try something such as this given the possibility that the drum could have ruptured. Anyway, thank for listening, and any more suggestions would be great.
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#9 of 9 Old 12-21-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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i heard the mullein drops are great. i did put some garlic oil (just soaked some cutup garlic in olive oil) and that seemed to help me...but i had been to a dr and knew for a fact that my eardrum was not ruptured.

aren't you glad you went to the dr, now?
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