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A member asked:

My child keeps getting ear infections. should she get tubes, eventhough my pediatrician wants to keep treating her with antibiotics?

4 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anifat Balogun
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 30 years experience
Ear Infections/ Tube: Middle ear fluid can predispose to recurrent ear infection & hearing loss. Indications for placing ear tube are: persistent fluid in the middle ear (serous otitis media, som) not resolving after a 3-month period of clinical observation, persistent otitis media with effusion (ome) >= 3 mo, acute otitis media (aom) not responding to antibiotic treatment or complicated by mastoiditis, meningitis, etc.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
May grow out of them: It is a guessing game sometimes when kids have ear infections. To tube or not? Increasing head size is the main solution but how long to wait? I go with 5 in a year or 1 that won't clear. As dr.Balogun stated the lengthy fluid retention can be as troublesome as repeated infections & > 90 days is my limit. You do have to put baby to sleep for the procedure so it is not done without some thought.
Dr. Anna Meyer
Pediatric ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 20 years experience
potentially: The newest guidelines for ear tubes say that a minimum of 3 ear infections in 6 months or 4 in a year, and fluid behind the ear drum when evaluated by an ENT are criteria for considering ear tubes. It still is a personal decision and you can help make an informed one by seeing an ENT to discuss.
Dr. Cathy Dailey
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Ears: The general rile is 4-5 ear infections in a 12 month period should likely be referred to an ear nose and throat specialist

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Last updated Feb 16, 2021

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