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Why do so many babies get so many ear infections they have to have tubes put in their ears??

Is this a side effect of medication used? Is it a genetics thing? It seems like every mom I know has a baby that has to get tubes put in their ears!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:32 PM on Jun. 17, 2010 in Kids' Health

Answers (15)
  • i dont know, my dd never had an ear infection until she was about 2 and it was the only one she's had. i know a lot of dif things cause ear infections.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 8:37 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • I don't know what it is. My daughter is 5 and 1/2 and my son is a week shy of 4 and neither have ever had an ear infection. My SS however had tubes put in at 5 b/c he was getting ear infections almost once a month. I have many friends whose kids have frequent ear infections or have already had tubes. I don't understand why some kids get them all the time and others never do.

    Answer by Carajust at 8:40 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • It can be many things in their environment, if they're around smokers, colds, laying down with a bottle or sippy ect. but im sure its mostly caused by the shape of the ear itself. so i guess you could say genetic. They usually get better as they get older because their ears grow :)

    Answer by young-not-dumb at 8:43 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • Formula, antibiotics, and parenting style (or lack there of). I have only known ONE BF baby who has ever had more than one ear infection... bottle feeding, and the drainage it causes (along with the affect of cows milk) is for the majority to fault.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 8:58 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • Obby, after thinking about it, the kids I can think of right now that have ear tubes were mostly bottlefed (my sister's son was bf for 5 months I believe) so that is an interesting theory. My kids were all bf for varying amounts of time and not one has ever had an ear infection.

    I'm the OP, btw. I don't remember pressing anonymous.

    Answer by Laura2U at 9:09 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • I also always thought it was due to bottle feeding. BF is supposed to help prevent ear infections, but I'm not sure why FF seems to lead to so many ear infections.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 9:45 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • Actually, there have been a lot of studies done on the topic, which have concluded that the lack of breast milk alone is a contributing factor- but the the main cause is from pooling fluid, due to how most infants are held while FF, and the fact that they do not actively suck on an artificial nipple, all they have to do is bite down and the milk flows. The simple action of sucking (as they do at the breast, which is FAR different from using a "plug") helps to keep the inner ear free of pooling, excess fluid.

    Antibiotics have also been proven to be a major contributing factor, by the fact of weakening the immune system, and adding the external factors which make them prone, it causes relapses. Most recent findings (through a Johns-Hopkins study) state that "cillin" based antibiotics should be reserved for the most sever cases, and only when there is real threat of damage to hearing.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 9:53 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • My son had 7 ear infections in just 4 months. His was caused from his acid reflux and milk allergies. They were going to put tubes in but I decided to wait and I am so glad I did cuz then he never needed them and he hasn't had an infection since last April!

    Answer by chelleybeans at 10:06 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • That's awesome, chelley!

    Answer by Laura2U at 10:29 PM on Jun. 17, 2010

  • I breastfed all my kids for at least a year and after that year they did not have cow's milk, they went on rice milk. Still, both of my older boys needed tubes due to chronic ear infections. It's due to the shape of the ear - my 12 year old STILL has fluid in his ear on occasion but can't have more tubes (he's had 3 sets) because there's so much scar tissue in his ear that another cut could cause permanent hearing loss.

    Answer by missanc at 8:45 AM on Jun. 18, 2010

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