Do you think that your child may have an ear infection? Consider this comprehensive guide to the basics of ear infection symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
What is an Ear Infection?
Ear Infections are particularly common for young children. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 5 out of 6 children will experience an ear infections by age three. Ear infections begin when the tubes near the eardrum that connect the ear to the back of the throat become blocked. This blockage makes it difficult or nearly impossible for fluid to drain properly. The trapped fluid then fosters bacteria growth, which can be painful, causing redness and inflammation. They usually go together with colds and other allergies as those conditions make it more likely for fluid to collect.
Symptoms of an ear infection include pain, difficulty sleeping, fever, difficulty hearing, decreased appetite, and discolored drainage from the ear. A child may experience all or just a couple of these symptoms and ultimately result in the child crying more often, being fussy, and feeling incredibly uncomfortable.
Pain Relief and Treatment
Although one of the most common treatment for ear infections is antibiotics, doctors have been opting out of using this method. Studies have shown that about 80 percent of children recover from ear infections without the use of antibiotics. To efficiently relieve some of the pain that your child is feeling, health professionals recommend a children’s dosage of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and even ear drops prescribed by a doctor. A natural remedy involves pressing a warm washcloth against the infected ear, which can relieve pain and allow the ear to drain on its own.
Preventing Ear Infections
Vaccines primarily used to protect children from pneumonia and meningitis have also shown to reduce the cases of ear infections. Other ways to prevent ear infections include frequent hand washing, breastfeeding, and limited pacifier use. Be careful not to feed babies while they’re lying down flat and never expose babies and young children to second-hand smoke.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently-owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized friendly service. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.
Come in for a walk-in appointment on Tuesdays & Fridays from 10:00am to 11:30am, or contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 410-698-6594 or visiting our contact page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn for more blog posts, news, and updates!