Posts for tag: Ear Infection
While you will certainly know when you’re dealing with an ear infection; unfortunately kids, particularly newborns and toddlers, can’t tell you that they are experiencing ear pain. Ear infections are incredibly common in young children, with five out of six children experiencing at least one ear infection by the time they turn three years old. Know the warning signs and when to turn to your pediatrician for treatment.
They may have trouble sleeping
It’s not too surprising that with pressure building up in the middle ear due to bacteria that your child may get fussy or even throw a tantrum about going to bed. Children with ear infections often toss and turn and feel worse when they lie down. If your little one suddenly starts crying when they lie down this could be a sign of an ear infection.
They tug at their ears
While a toddler won’t be able to tell you that their ear hurts, they can show you. You may be able to discern whether your child could have an ear infection by whether or not they are tugging and pulling at their ears. Again, the pressure inside the ears can be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful, and children might fidget with their ears to minimize the discomfort.
They could have a fever
If a child has a middle ear infection, commonly, they could also have a fever. If your child’s ear looks red, if they tug at their ear and seem fussier lately, and they have a fever over 100 degrees F then it’s probably time to see a pediatrician.
Their ears might drain
Another telltale sign of an ear infection in your little one is the presence of fluid or pus draining from the ear. If there is the presence of blood in the fluid this might be a sign of a ruptured eardrum. While the eardrum will heal on its own, it’s still a good idea to see your pediatrician if pus or fluid is draining from your child’s ear.
If your child is displaying symptoms of an ear infection, or if you’re concerned about your child’s recurring ear infections, it’s important to talk with your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to dispense the proper medication and discuss other ways to reduce your child’s risk of developing future infections.
An ear infection is one of the most common infections that children have to deal with. In fact, most children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they are five years old. Of course, it’s important to understand the telltale signs of an ear infection, as well as know how to treat the infection and when you should turn to a pediatrician for care.
An ear infection isn’t contagious and usually isn’t a cause for concern; however, you will want to monitor your child’s symptoms to make sure problems aren’t getting worse or don’t warrant seeing a doctor. In many instances, a child may develop an ear infection after they’ve had a cold.
Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection
So, how will you know if your child has an ear infection? Children who are old enough to talk will certainly be able to let you know that they are experiencing an earache or pain; however, a baby or toddler won’t be able to tell you that they are experiencing an earache. Therefore, signs that your baby might have an ear infection include:
- Increased fussiness
- A fever
- Pulling at the ears
- Crying or tantrums, particularly when lying down
- Having difficulty hearing noises or not responding to sounds
- Fluid draining from the ears
So, when should you wait out an infection and when should you call a pediatrician? You should give your child’s doctor a call if they have an ear infection and they are also experiencing:
- A rash
- Difficulty hearing
- Ear swelling
You should also turn to a doctor for care if your child:
- Has an ear infection and they are under 6 months old
- Is in significant pain or still experiences pain after two days of taking ibuprofen
- Also has other serious health problems
How is an ear infection treated?
In most cases an ear infection will go away on its own. If your child isn’t in significant pain and they don’t have a high fever your pediatrician may tell you to wait a couple of days to see if symptoms improve. If symptoms remain or get worse then you should bring them back to the doctor’s office.
While antibiotics are not normally prescribed to treat an ear infection they may be used if your child has a very high fever, is in significant pain or if their ear infection hasn’t improved within 48 hours. It’s important not to give your child any over-the-counter medications without first talking with your pediatrician.
What can you do about your child's ear infection? First of all, recognize the signs so you can get her treated. At Northside Pediatric Associates in Conroe, TX, your pediatrician, Dr. Ayotunde Faweya, educate parents about otitis media and strategies to prevent this infection.
What is an ear infection?
Pediatricians in Conroe, TX, and across the country call an ear infection otitis media. It involves the ear canal, middle ear structure, and ear drum, or tympanic membrane.
Ear infections are inflammatory in nature. Developing from bacteria in accumulated fluid, otitis media may exhibit few to no symptoms, or in other cases, it may make your little one very ill. Babies and toddlers seem prone to ear infections because of the horizontal orientation of their Eustachian tubes, hoilow passageways between the nose and the back of the throat.
Usually, ear infections happen after a child has a cold or the flu. Even seasonal allergies precipitate otitis media because of excess mucous produced in response to allergic triggers such as grass pollen and animal dander.
Signs your child may have an ear infection
Typical signs include fever, malaise, crying, fussiness, ear pain, and reduced ability to hear. The Cleveland Clinic reports that several ear infections in a row--in other words, chronic ear infections--may cause speech and language delays because the child cannot hear properly.
Upon examination with a lighted otoscope, your child's doctor watches for dullness and redness in the ear drum. This finding is diagnostic for otitis media.
Treating ear infections
Some ear infections do resolve by themselves. Others, however, need treatment with antibiotics. Chronic ear infections may require a few courses of this medication. Lastly, children may benefit from surgical placement of thin ear tubes which drain fluid from the middle ear and avoid infection altogether.
Preventing ear infections
Unfortunately, this is not always possible. However, these simple strategies may help prevent some infections, or at least, make them less severe:
- Do not expose your child to cigarette smoke.
- Breast feed as long as possible.
- If you do bottle feed, make sure the baby is not lying completely flat while drinking his or her formula.
If you think your child is showing symptoms of a middle ear infection, please contact your pediatrician at Northside Pediatric Associates in Conroe, TX, for a sick appointment. We are open six days a week, including Saturdays. Our phone number is (936) 270-8655.