Sharing is always good!

So far, our vote is tu-be — in other words — we had made the decision to get ear tubes for our son after 10+ year infections and a burst ear drum in less than a years’ time, with the bulk coming between October and March (7 months old – 1 year).

The short of it: Do the risks of putting a child under general anesthesia outweigh the benefits of tubes? Articles (here is one from the NY Times, 2006) are coming out all the time about ear infections with the current base of knowledge suggesting that ear infections do not cause long term hearing loss or serious developmental delays. Additionally, even antibiotics are called into question (CNN.com, 2010). Are the side effects worth the ear infection clearing up one day — maybe two — earlier than normal? I know we didn’t want to put our son under anesthesia — but what can you do?

After a consultation in April 2010, and a decision to wait and see what the fall brought with it, we crept into September 2010, with our fingers crossed. A double ear infection settled the discussion. Hearing loss was not a major factor for us — and antibiotic overuse was a slight concern. Pain was the big issue and the one not discussed in the articles — I assume because it can’t be measured. For weeks at a time, our son was in pain and unable to sleep, we had to do something.

Since September: 0, yes ZERO ear infections. The procedure took little time and the recovery period was very short. We were able to take our son home within a couple hours of the surgery and by the next day he was back to his bubbly self.

But know this — if something had happened when he went under anesthesia, or if there were complications, I don’t think I would feel the same way.

To get more information on ear infections and ear tubes, you can go to KidsHealth.org. This is a great site to get information — and it comes from Nemours, one of the largest nonprofit organizations devoted to children’s health — and the hospital where our son had his surgery (which was fantastic — from explaining everything that was happening to simply being nice). We went here on a strong recommendation — even with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) right around the corner.

**Please note, this is not medical advice — simply a review of our own decision and the outcome.

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