My boys got some ear infections throughout their little lives. They didn't have so many that they needed tubes, but they had some. I'd try letting it go the first night, or two of them screaming crying. Then after that I'd take them in. Their pediatrician is one of the best in our area. I feel confident on his decisions. He would ask me, "How long they've been like this?" I'd tell him the time frame. We also talked about preventative care to. Like for instance my boys now are very willing to do the neti pot. When they were babies I'd use saline spray on their little noses. Their pediatrician agrees with me that if they have an ear infect for a short period of time, they should wait on the antibiotics. If they have shown symptoms for a longer period of time they should have antibiotics.
Yesterday I went to the doctor. He said I have a double ear infection. He gave me a script for some antibiotics, and a pain medication. He didn't much talk to me about it. It's been awhile since any of us have had an ear infection.
I filled my meds. Then went home to read about ear infections.
The crazy thing with him is that antibiotics seemed to be helping him get better. No bacteria grew in their samples. When they took him off his meds, he got worse, so they decided to just keep him on them as a precaution. He baffled everyone.
Back to ear infections: If it's a viral ear infection antibiotics will not take care of it. That's why you want to wait to get it treated; to see if it will go away on its own. If it's bacterial the only way to treat it is though antibiotics.
There's a great article that goes over ear infections here.
After one day of using antibiotics I feel better, not out of the woods, but better. I must of had a bacterial infection of some kind. My ears went from ringing, and having sharp pain, to no pain, but full feeling.
Now to take probiotics or not? They have milk product in them. I'm trying to stay off of any milk, dairy anything like that. Antibiotics take bacteria out of your body, both good and bad. Probiotics puts the good bacteria back into your body.