Meet Ben and Halle - the Moss twins. Three years old and already seasoned veterans of multiple ear infections.
“I would say that Ben had probably had maybe 2 or 3 ear infections before the time he was maybe six months old,” says Lisa Moss, who is Ben and Halle’s mother.
Ear infections are a painful prospect as fluid and pressure builds up in the ear. The first sign for many kids is a spike in temperature.
“I knew Ben had an ear infection because he would get that fever. He was congested as well. And Halle, the same way,” says Moss.
Call it a ‘growing pain’. Adults have ear tubes which sit vertically, allowing gravity to drain fluid. Young children have an immature system.
“In little babies and kids under three it’s more horizontal and flat so its not very effective. So they have a tendency to build up fluid and build up air pressure and the fluid sits in there long enough you can develop an ear infection,” says Dr. Eric Jones who is a pediatrician on medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.
Given the choice between frequent doses of antibiotics, doctors ear-marked several scenarios in which kids might be best served by getting tiny ear tubes implanted. The most commonly performed surgery in children; the tubes alleviate fluid by ventilating the middle ear. But they are not for everyone.
“The reasons to do ear tubes now, are if we have persistence of infection or fluid that lingers or more infections than we can keep up with. Or if there’s documented hearing loss or hearing delay with speech delay,” says Dr. Jones.
The average age for ear tubes is between one and three years old. They stay in for up to two years, then fall out naturally.
“Most of the time it gets them over the hump until their normal natural ear tube kind of lengthens and strengthens and goes vertical,” says Dr. Jones.
Going with ear tubes was a sound choice for the Moss twins.
“Halle has never had an ear infection since and Ben I think has had one. So it went from like all the time to pretty much non-existent,” says Moss.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.