For many years, doctors treated kids with recurrent ear infections by putting tubes in their ears. Parents were warned that failing to take action could put the child at risk of hearing loss and learning problems.
A new meta-analysis from the University of North Carolina shows, however, that tubes can improve a youngster’s hearing short term but have very little effect over the long term. According to the lead author, “we found no evidence that surgical intervention improves longer term hearing, speech, language, or other functional outcomes in normally developing children.”
Some parents report that removing dairy, peanuts, corn and/or wheat from the diet cuts back on repeated ear infections for some children. Another approach some parents adopt is to make sure the child is getting adequate vitamin D, either through sun exposure or in vitamin drops approved by the pediatrician. Children whose vitamin D levels are too low appear to be much more susceptible to such problems (Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, June & Oct, 2013).