If you have a little one more than likely you've battled ear infection after ear infection. It's the most common illness among babies and young children because their immune system and Eustachian tubes aren't mature like adults. Their immune system won't mature until their 8 years old. It's getting to be the time of year, fall and winter, when doctors see more because more kids are in daycare and more viruses are floating around. In this Avera Medical Minute, we look into a simple, tiny, and reliable solution.
16 month old Owen Boyd is used to getting his ears checked. His young little life has been plagued with ear infections. Like so many children, Owen started getting ear infections at 3 months, by the time he was 10 months old, he'd been on antibiotics a dozen different times and Dr. Ken Scott at Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat said it was time for tubes.
Dr. Scott says, "If kids have too many ear infections 3 or more in 6 months or 4 or more in a year or if the fluid behind the eardrum won't go away we put in a set of tubes. It's like a band-aid for the ears. What it does is, it allows air to flow into the middle ear behind the ear drum and that prevents ear infections."
The tube is tiny too, especially compared to a dime. Dr. Scott says it's a great invention that prevents ear infections 90% of the time. Dr. Scott says, "the little one has to be asleep so they don't wiggle at the wrong time. We clean the wax out of the ear canal. Make an opening in the ear drum, take out any fluid that's in there and put the tube in to the eardrum. The whole process takes three minutes."
There are 400 different shapes of tubes, but in most cases the tube will eventually work it's way out of the ear like a piece of wax. The ear drum heals up and Dr. Scott says 99% of the time you can't even tell a tube was there. He says it's truly like a band-aid, an aid that's made a huge difference in the last 6 months for Owen and his parents!
His mom Amy says, "Oh, it's been wonderful . He is sleeping better at night. He has not had an ear infection since he got the tubes. You know the normal teething and things like that cause discomfort but he seems like a happy baby, he was a happy baby before but it's better now. Working with Dr. Scott has just been a joy."
Dr. Scott says the national recommendations in helping prevent ear infections include avoiding second hand smoke and if your children have to be in daycare, try to putting them in small ones.
If you have questions call 877-at-AVERA or go to www.averamckennan.org or www.midwestent.com