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Ear Infection

Question from Tammy of Buckeye, Arizona USA

I have a 8 month old daughter who since the age of 4 months has had reoccurring ear infection in the right ear only, she never has any fever, or cold symptoms. Her pediatrician has treated them with amoxicillin and sulfa drugs as a preventative, but 2-3 days later she has another infection. The ENT wants to put bilateral ear tubes in. Is she too young? and are there any other options open that you could point in the direction of.

Dear Tammy:

The indications for placement of tympanostomy tubes includes persistent middle ear infections despite repeated or continuous antibiotics, recurrent middle ear infections despite prophylactic antibiotics, continuos middle ear fluid with or without acute infection for 2-3 months, acute or chronic complications (mastoiditis, abscess, meningitis, brain abscess).

It sounds like from your description that your child has had repeated middle ear infections for many months and has failed preventative therapy. If this is true, than there is little doubt that a child with these symptoms can benefit from tympanostomy tubes. Concerning age, I see no problem with an 8 month old getting tubes. It is very common, and considered safe.

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