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Recurrent Ear Infections in Children – Teddy’s Story

​It was at a routine check-up that Teddy Hess' parents pointed out how he had been fussy, unable to sleep and constantly tugging at his ears. As the family and their medical providers dug a little deeper, they learned that Teddy had too much fluid in his ears, resulting in ineffective ear drum movement and muffled hearing.

With Teddy's speech and language development in mind, the family turned to Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat, and over the course of a few years ended up returning for three ear tube surgeries. With each surgery, the Hesses saw Teddy's life improve and knew they had made the right decision.

“It's a scary choice," said Daniel Hess, Teddy's dad. “Seeing your little 1-year-old or 2-year-old being carted back to surgery is something that no one wants to go through, but the benefits definitely outweigh the risks. We love Boys Town! They know all the questions we're going to ask to put our minds at ease."

Watch Teddy's full story below.

When Ear Infections Affected Teddy's Development, the Hess Family Turned to Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat

  • Ear Infections: Teddy's Story - Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute

    He had had issues with fussiness and staying up at night and tugging at his ears for months. When we took him in for a wellness checkup that's when they suggested looking into his ears and seeing what's going on there. That's when they first confirmed that yes, there's a lot of fluid on the ear, his eardrum isn't moving as you would expect, and that's also when we first heard that he's probably hearing everything muffled. Which you don't know that until you hear that, so at that point, it's kind of a gravity of like, oh wow he's experiencing the world differently because of these ear infections. He was just starting to try to form words but it was making it a lot harder because he couldn't hear what we were saying, and it made it harder to understand him, so we were definitely concerned especially about speech development.

    We noticed a difference right away. He would always have a runny nose when he had these ear infections and that went away. You go from a cranky baby that morning, to a happy baby that afternoon.

    Dr. Allen said that of all the kids that get ear tubes, about 10 will have the tubes fall out and need a second set of tubes. Then of that group it's down to 10 again, so Teddy was roughly, you know, 10 of 10 of 10 that needed three sets. It was worth it because each time we could tell, especially as he got older, his speech development would greatly improve after he got his tubes because he could hear again. We love Boys Town. The staff is super professional, you can tell they've done this so many times. They know all the questions we were going to ask to put our minds at ease. For other parents who are concerned about ear infections in their children, if they should have tubes or not, for us, it's been hugely beneficial. It's a scary choice. Seeing your little one-year-old or two-year-old getting carted back to surgery is something that no one wants to go through, but the benefits definitely outweigh the the risks, the kind of, how scary it seems. Thank you Boys Town!

Patient Story Ear, Nose and Throat