Ear Infection

An ear infection can be painful enough for adults but for children it can be excruciating. Pediatric otitis media afflicts millions of children each year. But as a parent it’s important to know the symptoms of this common condition and available treatment options.

Symptoms & Causes

Your child might have an infection if he or she is suffering an earache, trouble eating or sleeping, high temperature or a liquid/puss draining from the ear. It’s important to consult their primary care doctor and possibly an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor immediately if they are suffering severely from these symptoms.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your child’s doctor might recommend one of several different options depending on the severity and progression of the infection. Mild cases can heal on their own without the need for a treatment solution such as antibiotics. The use of a warm compress and gargling with salt water are other low-cost remedies your child’s doctor might consider. Conversely the physician might prescribe an over-the-counter ear-drop pain reliever or consider the use of antibiotics. Two procedures, tube surgery and adenoid surgery, are also options to consider.

Prevention

Although with children prevention can be difficult it’s important to try. The cause of ear infections can be bacterial or viral infections so try to teach kids to avoid germs as much as possible by washing their hands thoroughly and frequently. Make sure kids get plenty of sleep, avoid secondhand smoke and eat healthy.

Further Reading on Ear Infections

National Institutes of Health