Posts for tag: Ear Infection
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.