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View Full Version : Budget Buster... ear tubes:(


bitty246
05-25-2010, 08:49 AM
My 1 y/o baby girl has had 7 ear infections in 6 months. She passed her hearing test, but it did show fluid in both ears so her hearing is "muffled"The recommendation was to have tubes inserted to help. So we went in this morning for the surgery. $400.00 later and hopefully we can get her well. I am incredibly grateful we have good insurance, but this was definitely not in my budget this month. Guess I can start saving for Disney next month...:laughing:

dwfanatic
05-25-2010, 08:53 AM
Our DS had tubes at 1 year as well...he is now 14...after the tubes he had no more ear infections and over the past 13 years he maybe has had 2...I hope all goes well. Bummer about the cost, though, but at least you are looking on the bright side of things about saving for Disney!!! :wizard:

ShannonMB
05-25-2010, 09:04 AM
You are going to be so happy you got the tubes. My DD was in the same boat when she was a baby, and she's now allergic to 2 different types of antibiotics because of so much early exposure. I wish we would have done the tubes even sooner (~14 months), because there for a while I felt like I was taking her to the Dr. every other week with what I'm sure was the same ear infection that just never cleared up completely. Her first ped took more of a 'conservative' approach and wanted to wait it out. When we switched drs, the first thing they did was send us to the ENT to get it taken care of. THANK GOODNESS! DD ended up getting 2 sets of tubes within that year between ages 1 and 2, and it made all the difference in the world. Knowing what I know now, I would have taken a 2nd mortgage on the home to get those little miraculous pieces of plastic inserted. Ear tubes are the GREATEST!!! Sorry about the $$, but congratulations on the better life ahead for your baby and you! ;)

3boymthr
05-25-2010, 09:16 AM
My oldest DS had tubes when he was 15 mo old. The best thing we ever did. He has not had 1 infection since the tubes went in (13 years ago now :eek:). We also found that in addition to not having infections, his sleeping was better overall so he wasn't as crabby even compared to when he didn't have an infection. He also had better balance/was more agile so be prepared she'll be getting into more things :rolleyes:.

His tubes fell out after 1 year, and we were warned that we might have to replace them if the fluid returned, most kids have to have them again, so I recommend you set aside that extra $400 in OOP costs now in anticipation. We got lucky and didn't have to replace them but man I would have done it in a second.

lori123
05-25-2010, 11:19 AM
It is so worth it! My DS has had tubes twice - and they were worth every penny. I will say you got a deal though - my sons last set cost us over $1000 out of pocket.

bumbershoot
05-25-2010, 11:22 AM
Chiropractic is WELL known for helping cut down on the number of ear infections, and even stopping them altogether, especially in bitty kids. There's just something about those first two vertebrae in the neck and their proximity to the eustachion tubes, that having things out of alignment can cause problems.

I would highly recommend finding a nice, gentle chiro who loves working with kids to help out your child.

Because all ear tubes do is burst the eardrum in a controlled fashion instead of waiting for an infection to do it!

(said by a former ear infection kid who has lower hearing b/c of it all AND the ear tubes my mom saw no alternative to back then)

bonoriffic
05-25-2010, 11:36 AM
The surgery is just the first of the expenses. You will have fairly frequent return trips to verify the tubes are still there until they fall out, which will then need additional monitoring once they do. The worst is when they are starting to move out as the checkups increase in frequency. It is a small cost, but a huge hassle in taking time off to go to the doctor for a 5 minute visit.

You will also have a follow up visit for a hearing test, usually done by a specialist. Our son failed the first test, resulting in more tests and expenses. The testing method at that age is inexact at best. The test that determines if the ear drum is moving is easy, the level of hearing is more subjective as a child can't simply "raise your hand when you hear a tone".

That said, ear tubes are great as he had one ear infection since the tubes but without the added drama as it drained nasty goo during sleep and didn't cause the fluid pressure.

As to chiropractic solutions, it has never been scientifically demonstrated that neck manipulation actually improves the outcome of ear infections either by stopping them or by preventing future infections. Plus chiropractors will usually try to rope you into long term "maintenance", which is how they make their money.

mrsbornkuntry
05-25-2010, 11:54 AM
The surgery is just the first of the expenses. You will have fairly frequent return trips to verify the tubes are still there until they fall out, which will then need additional monitoring once they do. The worst is when they are starting to move out as the checkups increase in frequency. It is a small cost, but a huge hassle in taking time off to go to the doctor for a 5 minute visit.

You will also have a follow up visit for a hearing test, usually done by a specialist. Our son failed the first test, resulting in more tests and expenses. The testing method at that age is inexact at best. The test that determines if the ear drum is moving is easy, the level of hearing is more subjective as a child can't simply "raise your hand when you hear a tone".

That said, ear tubes are great as he had one ear infection since the tubes but without the added drama as it drained nasty goo during sleep and didn't cause the fluid pressure.

As to chiropractic solutions, it has never been scientifically demonstrated that neck manipulation actually improves the outcome of ear infections either by stopping them or by preventing future infections. Plus chiropractors will usually try to rope you into long term "maintenance", which is how they make their money.

I think the frequency of follow-up visits depends on your child and doctor. My son is on his third set of tubes (this time permanent ones that have to be removed, he's 12) and he had one follow up visit after the placement in Feb. His next appt. is at the end of June because he is showing permanent hearing damage. My other son had tubes put in when he was 5 (a year ago) and had one follow up visit afterward and hasn't had another appt. for the tubes at all.

All American
05-25-2010, 12:02 PM
Oh, poor thing. I hope the surgery and recovery are successful so that, in your future trips to Disney, she'll be able to hear the sounds of the park perfectly. pixiedust:

Leajess99
05-25-2010, 12:05 PM
The surgery is just the first of the expenses. You will have fairly frequent return trips to verify the tubes are still there until they fall out, which will then need additional monitoring once they do. The worst is when they are starting to move out as the checkups increase in frequency. It is a small cost, but a huge hassle in taking time off to go to the doctor for a 5 minute visit.

You will also have a follow up visit for a hearing test, usually done by a specialist. Our son failed the first test, resulting in more tests and expenses. The testing method at that age is inexact at best. The test that determines if the ear drum is moving is easy, the level of hearing is more subjective as a child can't simply "raise your hand when you hear a tone".

That said, ear tubes are great as he had one ear infection since the tubes but without the added drama as it drained nasty goo during sleep and didn't cause the fluid pressure.

As to chiropractic solutions, it has never been scientifically demonstrated that neck manipulation actually improves the outcome of ear infections either by stopping them or by preventing future infections. Plus chiropractors will usually try to rope you into long term "maintenance", which is how they make their money.

Hmm, 2 kids that had tubes and neither had additional appointments to make sure the tubes were still in or when they were coming out. My oldest (now 17) had his first set of tubes at 15 months old and when they fell out the ear infections started again. When he got his 3rd set of tubes they removed his adnoids as well and never had another ear infection. My middle one had only 1 set of tubes and the one tube was stuck on wax so the doctor just finished helping it out. That was found at her well baby/child exam. My youngest actually had very few ear infections. I guess she took after her dad on that one.

bonoriffic
05-25-2010, 01:18 PM
Hmm, 2 kids that had tubes and neither had additional appointments to make sure the tubes were still in or when they were coming out.

Maybe the advice was different years ago, but I'd be concerned if any doctor today didn't want to see your child several times after inserting tubes. A lot of things can go wrong, usually very rare or mild in seriousness, but they need frequent checks.

tinkmom2
05-25-2010, 02:00 PM
My daughter just got tubes in and her adnoids out in April. Our bill for the surgery was about $700.00 and the office visits about $300. Our Children's Hospital is really good about making payment arrangements. My DD had her tonsils out when she was 2 and it took us about a year to pay off. I was hoping this would take care of her sickness but she is still snoring as much as she did before and is battling another cold. The doc told me she can still get ear infections even with the tubes in. So far so good with the tubes. We aren't scheduled to go back for a checkup for about 6 months.

MaumeeMom
05-25-2010, 02:23 PM
I'll echo the PPs who said this was one of the best things that they have done. Our oldest DS had tubes put in just after his 1st bday and it was almost miraculous. He had been constantly sick and on prophylactic antibiotics for a few months, which I didn't like at all. Once he got the tubes - no more infections. We did have a few follow up appointments but not too many, three maybe, just until the tubes fell out.

OP: I hope all is well and that this helps your little one.

bitty246
05-25-2010, 08:05 PM
Thanks for all the replies and well wishes!

She seems to feel fine this evening, but I guess only time will tell if this is going to nip it in the bud for good. I'll take all of the advice into consideration. I don't know anyone dealing with these issues in "real life", so it's good to get the input from folks who've BTDT.

She has been on several different oral antibiotics that gave her terrible tummy problems and yeast infections every time. I'm also pretty sure the massive amounts of antibiotics contributed to her getting a toenail fungus...:eek: Her poor little pinky toenail just fell off! Another thing to ask the pedi about...

We just want off this crazy train!

I don't mind the follow up visits, I'm a bit neurotic I guess. I'd rather know whats going on in there!! LOL!

3boymthr
05-25-2010, 09:48 PM
Thanks for all the replies and well wishes!

She seems to feel fine this evening, but I guess only time will tell if this is going to nip it in the bud for good. I'll take all of the advice into consideration. I don't know anyone dealing with these issues in "real life", so it's good to get the input from folks who've BTDT.

She has been on several different oral antibiotics that gave her terrible tummy problems and yeast infections every time. I'm also pretty sure the massive amounts of antibiotics contributed to her getting a toenail fungus...:eek: Her poor little pinky toenail just fell off! Another thing to ask the pedi about...

We just want off this crazy train!

I don't mind the follow up visits, I'm a bit neurotic I guess. I'd rather know whats going on in there!! LOL!

For the toenail fungus....

There is this miraculous OTC topical medication called fungi-nail.

I had a fungus infected toenail. Cracked disintegrating ugly green black & yellow mess. I applied this stuff (it's a liquid and dries quickly) and I could feel the tingle for a day or so. I've been applying for about 3 months now following the directions on the bottle using the same bottle which is still more than half full and my nail is about half grown out and the new growth is all healthy nail. I think I paid $15 and it was definitely worth the money.

sissy_42
05-25-2010, 10:06 PM
Chiropractic is WELL known for helping cut down on the number of ear infections, and even stopping them altogether, especially in bitty kids. There's just something about those first two vertebrae in the neck and their proximity to the eustachion tubes, that having things out of alignment can cause problems.

I would highly recommend finding a nice, gentle chiro who loves working with kids to help out your child.

Because all ear tubes do is burst the eardrum in a controlled fashion instead of waiting for an infection to do it!

(said by a former ear infection kid who has lower hearing b/c of it all AND the ear tubes my mom saw no alternative to back then)

I had ear tubs at least twice and I have above average hearing. Because of my job the military makes me take a hearing test at least yearly so I am sure of that.

OP-good luck to you and your DD. She is gonna feel so much better.

Trinity524
05-25-2010, 10:09 PM
My son had it a year and a half ago and not one ear infection since then! $400 is in nobody budget, but at least you will not miss any work or sleep with fevers!

andrews_dad
05-26-2010, 09:01 AM
SOOOOO worth it. My son's health is worth any amount. Plus I was calling off work so often due to ear infections the cost came out in wash. One right after the other his first 8 months at day care.. now it is 1 and 1/2 years later and the:cheer2: tubes are still in and ZERO ear inf since the tubes.

daughtersrus
05-26-2010, 09:27 AM
My DD will always have to have tubes in her ears. She's almost 16yo but has a rare genetic disease. My suggestion is to talk to the doctor about "T" tubes if these fall out and they think that they'll need to be replaced.

Also, ask the doctor/audiologist about "swim plugs". We were told by her Ped ENT, Audiologist and her hearing intinerant teacher at school that it's important to keep the water out of DD's ears when she's in the water. Because the tubes are keeping the tube open, there's really nothing to stop the water from getting in.

DD's are fitted to her ear so they need to be replaced as she grows. I know others that use over the counter type of plug.

Purseval
05-26-2010, 08:36 PM
My son had them put in when he was about 18 months old. He was always crying and miserable. He hasn't been sick since he got them put in and now he's a junior in college. He also had to get custom earplugs made so he could swim. I don't remember how much any of it cost but it was the best money we ever spent, easily worth giving up a WDW trip for.