Ear infections are one of the most common conditions your child may experience. They can be very uncomfortable, making your child miserable. Fortunately, your ENT specialist can help your child feel better quickly.
What You Need To Know About Childhood Ear Infections
Ear infections typically develop after your child has been sick with a virus like a cold or the flu, or a bacterial infection. Bacteria travel into the middle ear canal, causing inflammation, infection, and pain. One of the reasons ear infections are so common is that a child’s ear structures aren’t as fully developed as an adult's.
Your child may have an ear infection if your child is:
- Frequently fussy and crying
- Tugging or pulling at their ear
- Draining fluid out of the ears
- Experiencing trouble hearing sounds and responding
- Having a fever and trouble sleeping
- Experiencing problems with balance
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, your child should be seen by an ear, nose, and throat specialist, an ENT doctor. Your ENT doctor will begin with a thorough examination of your child’s ears.
Treatment usually is in the form of antibiotics, to kill the bacteria infecting your child’s ears. The antibiotic regimen should be taken for 7 to 10 days. Your ENT doctor may also recommend prescription-strength ear drops to help reduce inflammation and pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers like children’s Tylenol may also be recommended.
If your child suffers from recurring ear infections, the ENT specialist may recommend a surgical procedure to place a small tube in your child’s eardrum. Ear tubes enhance airflow and help the ear drain fluid more effectively.
There are several steps you can take to help your child avoid ear infections. Remember to have your child:
- Wash their hands often
- Receive the influenza and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke
- Avoid being around sick children
Want To Know More?
Talk with the experts to learn more about the causes and treatment of ear infections in children. Call your ENT specialist today.