My son, thankfully, went about 18-20 months without getting an ear infection. His first one cleared up naturally.
The second one didn't seem so bad, but he was given antibiotics for it. I wasn't keen on the use, because I'd heard that treating a child's ear infection with antibiotics can increase their chances of getting recurrent ear infections.
Since then, he had another ear infection necessitating antibiotics. It was much more severe than the previous times, and I do agree medicine was needed. He's now currently suffering from another ear infection (and a URI, and the combo meant a late-night ER visit last night).
Of course, my son has been getting more colds/illness in general lately, which I largely attribute to his increased exposure to other children -- more playdates, and more active play at parks.
Anyway, I'm just wondering about the continued use of antibiotics to clear up ear infections. They seem to clear up the symptoms well enough, at least short-term, but he hasn't been not sick long enough for me to make any other determinations.
Does using antibiotics for ear infections really increase the chances of getting recurrent ear infections?
Could the earlier doses we gave to my child have caused antibiotic-resistant bacteria that keeps growing back? Or is this just a common way ear infections occur in children--low to no incidence followed by high incidence?
Here are some sites that mention the risks, although they're not where I first heard it: Choosing Wisely: Oral Antibiotics of for Ear Infections and WebMD: Antibiotics for Middle Ear Infections
Doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections in children who are prone to repeated ear infections (recurrent otitis media). But experts disagree on how helpful this is.
Use of antibiotics to treat ear infections increases the risk for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
I've seen and heard the claim that resistant-bacteria don't get fully eradicated, so the "same" infection comes back. I'll try to find sources when I can, but I think I've mostly heard this in passing (and not as the main point of an article or discussion).
Please note: I'm not asking for medical advice. I am not asking you whether or not I should prescribe my child antibiotics. I think some of the relevant meta questions back me up on this not being a medical advice question: