How To Treat An Ear Infection
The good news is that most baby ear infections disappear on their own. Some may require antibiotics, although Jacobson prescribes the wait-and-watch approach, as recommended by the Canadian Paediatric Society. If your child is over six months old, if he looks well and theres no high fever, then keep an eye on him before giving antibiotics, she says, adding that shell usually send parents home with a script and tell them to fill it only if their kid shows no sign of improvement after a day or two. If your baby is under six months, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, depending on the severity of symptoms. Either way, infants acetaminophen can help relieve pain in babies over three months, and infants ibuprofen can be used with babies over six months. And steer clear of flyingthe change in air pressure can cause even further pain in, or may even rupture, the eardrum.
How To Detect An Ear Infection In Babies
You may not know this, but otitis media, a group of inflammatory diseases of the middle ear, is caused by the entry of bacteria or viruses from the oral cavity into the air space of the middle ear. In addition, the abnormal multiplication of microorganisms in the area generates pus and a distended eardrum, causing pain to the child.
This infection is more common when theres a catarrhal process going on. This is because the duct is usually full of mucus and there are perfect conditions for the excessive growth of viruses and bacteria.
Symptoms Of Ear Infections
- The main symptom is an earache.
- Younger children will cry, act fussy or have trouble sleeping because of pain.
- About 50% of children with an ear infection will have a fever.
- Complication: In 5% to 10% of children, the eardrum will develop a small tear. This is from the pressure in the middle ear. The ear then drains cloudy fluid or pus. This small hole most often heals over in 2 or 3 days.
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How Long Will It Take My Child To Get Better
Your child should start feeling better within a few days after visiting the doctor. If its been several days and your child still seems sick, call your doctor. Your child might need a different antibiotic. Once the infection clears, fluid may still remain in the middle ear but usually disappears within three to six weeks.
What Are The Symptoms Of Otitis Media
Symptoms of ear infection include:
- Ear pain: This symptom is obvious in older children and adults. In infants too young to speak, look for signs of pain like rubbing or tugging ears, crying more than usual, trouble sleeping, acting fussy/irritable.
- Loss of appetite: This may be most noticeable in young children, especially during bottle feedings. Pressure in the middle ear changes as the child swallows, causing more pain and less desire to eat.
- Irritability: Any kind of continuing pain may cause irritability.
- Poor sleep: Pain may be worse when the child is lying down because the pressure in the ear may worsen.
- Fever: Ear infections can cause temperatures from 100° F up to 104° F. Some 50% of children will have a fever with their ear infection.
- Drainage from the ear: Yellow, brown, or white fluid that is not earwax may seep from the ear. This may mean that the eardrum has ruptured .
- Trouble hearing: Bones of the middle ear connect to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain. Fluid behind the eardrums slows down movement of these electrical signals through the inner ear bones.
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Are Ear Infections Contagious
Unlike, say, the stomach flu or strep throat, ear infections are not contagiousthough the cold that triggers one most definitely is. And while ear infections arent preventable, you can reduce your childs chances of getting one by hand-washing, breastfeeding if possible, not smoking, and having your child vaccinated . The flu vaccination may help reduce the risk of ear infections, too. Daycare exposure is also a risk factor, Jacobson says, because more kids means more colds and viruses being passed around.
This story was originally published in November 2016.
When You Need Themand When You Dont
Many children get ear infections. The infections are usually in the middle ear behind the eardrum. They may be caused by bacteria or by a virus. Doctors often treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. Antibiotics are strong medicines that kill bacteria.
Infants and some babies and children do need antibiotics.
But using antibiotics too often can be harmful. Heres why:
In most cases, antibiotics are not needed.
- They do not work for ear infections caused by viruses.
- They do not help the pain.
- Usually, viral infections and many bacterial infections go away on their own in two to three days, especially in children who are over two years old.
First, call the doctor and treat the pain.
If you suspect your child has an ear infection, you should call the doctors office and describe the symptoms. Usually, your doctor should ask you to wait a few days before bringing your child in.
The main sign of an ear infection is pain, especially on the first day. Or, a child may have a fever.
Start by giving your child an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as:
- acetaminophen .
- ibuprofen .
Antibiotics do not relieve pain in the first 24 hours. They only have a small effect on pain after that. So, pain relievers are an important treatment, and usually they are the only treatment needed.
When is treatment with antibiotics needed?If the infection is very painful and lasts more than a few days, chances are it is a bacterial infection.
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Living With An Ear Infection
If your child suffers from several ear infections each year, youll want to look out for symptoms every time they have a stuffy nose or congestion.
Never stick anything in your childs ear to relieve the pain of an ear infection, to remove the tubes or remove a foreign object. See your childs doctor to have it removed.
What Are The Harms Of Fluid Buildup In Your Ears Or Repeated Or Ongoing Ear Infections
Most ear infections dont cause long-term problems, but when they do happen, complications can include:
- Loss of hearing: Some mild, temporary hearing loss usually occurs during an ear infection. Ongoing infections, infections that repeatedly occur, damage to internal structures in the ear from a buildup of fluid can cause more significant hearing loss.
- Delayed speech and language development: Children need to hear to learn language and develop speech. Muffled hearing for any length of time or loss of hearing can significantly delay or hamper development.
- Tear in the eardrum: A tear can develop in the eardrum from pressure from the long-lasting presence of fluid in the middle ear. About 5% to 10% of children with an ear infection develop a small tear in their eardrum. If the tear doesnt heal on its own, surgery may be needed. If you have drainage/discharge from your ear, do not place anything into your ear canal. Doing so can be dangerous if there is an accident with the item touching the ear drum.
- Spread of the infection: Infection that doesnt go away on its own, is untreated or is not fully resolved with treatment may spread beyond the ear. Infection can damage the nearby mastoid bone . On rare occasions, infection can spread to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis.
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Anatomy Of An Ear Infection
The ear is divided into the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Infection can occur in any of these areas, but bacterial infections of the inner ear are extremely rare.
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause infections in the ear. Infections can be brought on by an illness, such as a cold or allergies.
Ear infections generally occur when bacteria, viruses, or fungi gain entry into one of the three areas of the ear and cause infection.
Childhood Ear Infections Explained
Ear infections happen when there is inflammation usually from trapped bacteriain the middle ear, the part of the ear connects to the back of the nose and throat. The most common type of ear infection is otitis media, which results when fluid builds up behind the eardrum and parts of the middle ear become infected and swollen.
If your child has a sore throat, cold, or an upper respiratory infection, bacteria can spread to the middle ear through the eustachian tubes . In response to the infection, fluid builds up behind the eardrum.
Children are more likely to suffer from ear infections than adults for two reasons:
- Their immune systems are underdeveloped and less equipped to fight off infections.
- Their eustachian tubes are smaller and more horizontal, which makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear.
“In some cases, fluid remains trapped in the middle ear for a long time, or returns repeatedly, even when there’s no infection,” Tunkel explains.
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Application Of Natural Oils And Plant Infusions
Some herbs, such as mint, oregano, lavender, or chamomile, have an analgesic, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory effect. The procedure consists of preparing an infusion, soaking a sterile gauze pad with it, and applying it to the babys ear.
Similarly, you can apply a few drops of some natural oil such as olive or almond, in order to calm the pain and itching of the childs middle ear.
Can Ear Tubes Help
If your child experiences frequent or chronic ear infections, your pediatrician may discuss ear tubes with you. Ear tubes are tiny tubes that are surgically placed into your childs eardrums to drain fluid and prevent blockages. Ear tubes can provide immediate relief for little ones who regularly experience painful ear infections. Talk with your pediatrician and a pediatric ear, nose, and throat doctor to see whether ear tubes are right for your child.
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How Do Ear Infections Happen
A middle ear infection usually happens because of swelling in one or both of the eustachian tubes . The tubes let mucus drain from the middle ear into the throat.
A cold, throat infection, acid reflux, or allergies can make the eustachian tubes swell. This blocks the mucus from draining. Then, or grow in the mucus and make pus, which builds up in the middle ear.
When doctors refer to an ear infection, they usually mean otitis media rather than swimmer’s ear . Otitis media with effusion is when noninfected fluid builds up in the ear. It might not cause symptoms, but in some kids, the fluid creates a sensation of ear fullness or “popping.”
Five Tips For Ear Infection Treatment At Home
Even when antibiotics are prescribed, they wont take effect for 24 to 48 hours. Your child need not suffer needlessly. There are simple, effective ways to reduce your childs discomfort and pain during an ear infection.
1. Fever and pain medicine: based it on age, consult with doctor
Over-the-counter medications can help reduce pain and fever in your child. Based it on age and weight and consult with your pediatrician if necessary.
Read labels and instructions carefully when giving fever-reducing medications. Its very important to follow instructions and give the appropriate dosage according to your childs weight and age, says Dr. Hutton.
- For children younger than 6 months, give only acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
- For children older than 6 months, you may give also give an ibuprofen product, such as Advil, for fever and pain.
- Infants younger than 3 months old who have a fever need immediate medical attention even if they appear well and show no other signs of being ill.
- Do not give aspirin to children because it can cause Reyes syndrome, a rare but very serious illness that harms the liver and brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
2. Place a cold pack or warm compress over your childs ear
Put a cold wet washcloth on the outer ear for 20 minutes to help with pain until the pain medicine starts to work.
3. Keep child hydrated
Make sure to keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
4. Elevate your childs head
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Ouch: How To Help A Child With An Ear Infection
Apr 10, 2017 | News
According to the National Institute of Health, five in six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. Theyre painful, theyre stubborn and they can be tough for a young child to cope with. If your child is suffering, there are a few things you can do to help ease their discomfort.
How To Spot An Ear Infection
Kids under age two are unable to simply say, My ear is killing me, making a baby ear infection difficult to detect. Jacobson says to look out for fever, especially if preceded by a cold, as well as crying, clinginess, loss of appetite and irritability. Children with an ear infection often wont sleep well, either, as pressure in the middle ear on the eustachian tubes increases when theyre lying down. And if you see fluid or pus draining from your childs ear, its a sure sign of infection. You may also notice your child pulling on or rubbing their ear.
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Sleep Without Putting Pressure On The Ear
Some sleep positions will aggravate pain from ear infections, while some can help relieve it. Sleep with the affected ear raised instead of having it faced down toward the pillow. This can help the ear drain better if necessary.
You can also sleep with your head elevated by using extra pillows. This can also help the ears drain faster.
What To Do At Home
Lying down can increase the sensation of pressure and discomfort in your childs ears. Children over the age of two can be encouraged to sleep propped up with pillows. With younger infants, you can give their crib mattress a slight incline by placing a thin pillow or two beneath the mattress itself.
Warm compresses can provide some temporary pain relief. Moist heat is preferable, so use a clean washcloth dipped in warm water or a microwavable hot pack designed to be misted with water. Being mindful of the temperature, apply the compress over the ear for 10 to 15 minutes. This can be especially helpful at bedtime.
Swallowing encourages the Eustachian tubes to open and relieve the painful pressure. Give your child plenty of fluids. Gum and hard candy can be given to children old enough to have them safety, at least 4 years of age.
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Ii Best Home Remedies For Ear Infections In Adults Babies And Toddlers
There are some natural treatments for ear infections that you can apply with ease at home. In this article, we will show you some of these effective home remedies that are effective in relieving the ear infections symptoms without causing any unwanted side effects. So, if you want to know how to deal with the ear infections symptoms, you should keep both of your eyes on this article.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is the first one among the best home remedies for ear infections in adults that we want to reveal in this article. To get rid of the fungus contributing to the ear infection, you can consider making use of apple cider vinegar. And, you can try this recipe if you want to treat the symptoms of ear infections by using apple cider vinegar.
List of 30 Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Dandruff And Itchy Scalp, Hair Loss will show you some of the simple ways to use apple cider vinegar for scalp problems, so check it out!
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another great one among the best home remedies for ear infections in toddlers, babies, and adults that you should try out! According to a study about tea tree oil for ear infection , the antibacterial properties found in tea tree oil may give you an instant earache relief.
If you want to know some of the best tips that can help you get rid of warts on face and other bodys parts with the help of tea tree oil, read on 24 Ways To Use Tea Tree Oil For Warts On Face, Hand, Scalp, Neck & Finger
Five Tips To Help Relieve Ear Infection Symptoms At Home
If your little one is cranky, unusually fussy and tugging at his or her ear or is feverish and having difficulty sleeping, chances are it may be due to an ear infection.
Five out of six children experience an ear infection by the time they are 3 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health. The odds are that your child will have an ear infection before kindergarten.
What causes an ear infection?
Ear infections can be caused by either bacteria or a virus, often following a cold. The common cold can cause the middle ear to become inflamed and fluid to build up behind the eardrum. The Eustachian tube, which connects the ears, nose and throat, can also become swollen.
Children are more susceptible to ear infections than adults because they have shorter and narrower Eustachian tubes, and it is easier for germs to reach the middle ear and for fluid to get trapped there, says Kara Hutton, MD, a pediatrician at Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo. Babies and children also have weaker immune systems, so it is more difficult for their bodies to fight an infection.
The onset of ear infections is often on day three of a cold. Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years, and are a common problem until age 8, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What is the best treatment for ear infection?
Some ear infections require antibiotic treatment, but many can get better without this medicine.
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