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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,<br>
I’m a newbie here and need some advice from experienced moms about ear infections.<br>
The last time when my son had an EI he reacted badly on antibiotic so I just stopped giving it to him.<br>
I carefully read “Heath and Healing Archives” related to EI. Then I bought garlic ear drops from Whole Foods and looks like it helped. We also tried to give up diary but I did not see a huge difference. To monitor his ears I’m using “Ear Check”.<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FEarCheck-1018-Middle-Ear-Monitor%2Fdp%2FB000FJCRJI%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1171483661%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_1%2F102-9768664-5763342%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dhpc" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/EarCheck-1018-...?ie=UTF8&s=hpc</a><br>
This device detects if there is a fluid in middle ear but cannot tell if there is an infection. I’m using it daily now and got worried if it is ok to use it so often. Does anybody hear anything bad about it? Is it better to buy otoscope?<br>
I checked ebay and there are hundreds of them. Price ranges from 10$ to<br>
200$.<br>
Are there any recommendations which ones are better? Or maybe some of you just bought one recently? I’ll really appreciate a good advice.
 

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Hi, Aveena:<br><br>
I've never heard of any dangers in using such devices daily, but I would wonder about the utility of doing so. It detects lack of motility of the ear drum, which is often due to fluid behind the ear drum, although there can be other causes. As you said, this does not indicate an infection. Fluid behind the ear drum - "middle ear effusion" or MEE - is not uncommon in young kids, does not alway cause or indicate problems, and can resolve on its own.<br><br>
From eMedicine: <a href="http://www.emedicine.com/ent/topic209.htm" target="_blank">Middle Ear, Otitis Media with Effusion<br></a><br><span style="color:#0000FF;">Clinical guidelines from a joint commission of specialties document that screening surveys of healthy children between infancy and 5 years show a 15-40% point prevalence in MEE. Furthermore, among children examined at regular intervals for a year, 50-60% of child care attendees and 25% of school-aged children were found to have a MEE at some point during the examination period, with peak incidence during the winter months.</span><br><br>
From the Mayo Clinic: <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ear-infections/EI99999/PAGE=EI00004" target="_blank">Causes of Middle Ear Infections</a><br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;">Middle ear effusion. In some children, uninfected fluid builds up in the middle ear and may remain there for several months. Fluid, infected or not, prevents the eardrum and the bones in the middle ear from vibrating normally in response to sounds and can temporarily affect hearing. Persistent middle ear fluid was once thought to contribute to speech or developmental delays, but researchers now say this isn't true.</span><br><br>
So fluid behind the ear may or may not be a problem, and the EarCheck device won't be able to tell you more.<br><br>
As for getting an otoscope, I guess I wouldn't recommend one. It often takes a good deal of experience to differentiate the normal bony landmarks, light reflections, and variations on the normal ear drum to be able to detect an infection. Some infections are obvious, but many are not. Also, it takes a bit of finesse to get a good look at a kid's eardrum without causing trauma to the outer canal or the ear drum as the kid does his/her best to get you to stop. I'm a big supporter of people learning as much about their health and medical care as they are interested and able to do, but it seems like an otoscope would not be worth the investment.<br><br>
For what it is worth, my advice would be to get your son's ears checked by a med professional. Once you know that there is no infection, I would not use the EarCheck monitor unless he shows signs of an ear infection (e.g., tugging at his ears, pain with swallowing, etc). Then I would use it simply to add to the information I would be able to give to my health care provider about his symptoms.<br><br>
I would also do all the commonsense stuff to avoid ear infections in babies (I don't know how old your child is): breastfeeding, avoiding cigarette smoke, feeding baby in a more upright position, etc.<br><br>
I hope that helps, and I hope your son's ears are clear! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot, Crisstiana.<br><br>
I guess you’re right. I’m monitoring my son’s ears after I took him of antibiotics and started garlic drops. Ear Check shows that he still has a fluid there. Levels of fluid may vary. It doesn't look right to me. I noticed a change after we started garlic drops. Cough and runny nose were gone really quick. I don't see now that ears bother him. But Ear Check keeps showing that fluid is not gone. So I continue with drops. Looks like only doctor can tell what's going on there.
 
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