Children Are More Vulnerable Than Adults
When it comes to OM, everyone is vulnerable. Seniors, teens, pregnant women, young adults, middle-aged people, young children no one is immune to it.
However, children are more at risk than anyone else. But why do children face a greater risk of getting OM?
First, childrens Eustachian tubes happen to be significantly smaller than in adults. In children, these tubes have not fully developed and lay flatter, more evenly than in any other category of people. As a result, fluid drains out of childrens ears with much difficulty. Sometimes the Eustachian tubes swell and get blocked by mucus. In such situations, fluid doesnt drain and that can cause serious problems.
Second, the immune system in young children isnt fully developed. Thats why it doesnt work as effectively as that of adults. Not surprisingly, childrens ability to fight off ear infections is less than that of adults.
What Should I Expect If I Or My Child Has An Ear Infection
Ear infections are common in children. Adults can get them too. Most ear infections are not serious. Your healthcare provider will recommend over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever. Pain relief may begin as soon as a few hours after taking the drug.
Your healthcare provider may wait a few days before prescribing an antibiotic. Many infections go away on their own without the need for antibiotics. If you or your child receives an antibiotic, you should start to see improvement within two to three days.
If you or your child has ongoing or frequent infections, or if fluid remains in the middle ear and puts hearing at risk, ear tubes may be surgically implanted in the eardrum to keep fluid draining from the eustachian tube as it normally should.
Never hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.
More Ear Infection Remedies
Top Foods for Ear Infections
- Water: Helps maintain hydration and clear out mucus.
- Wild-caught fish: Omega-3 fats found in wild-caught fish help to reduce inflammation.
- Non-dairy baby formula: If a baby drinks formula, I recommend switching to coconut or goats milk-based formulas which tend to cause fewer allergies. However, breast-feeding is most ideal.
- Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C: Keeps immune system strong, which helps the bodys ability to ward off infection.
Foods to Avoid
- Potential food allergens: Some common allergens include conventional dairy, gluten, shrimp and peanuts.
- Conventional dairy: Pasteurized-cow dairy products can be mucus-producing and worsen infection.
- Sugar: Reduces immune function and encourages inflammation.
- Processed foods: These foods may contain added chemicals and dyes that young children can be sensitive to.
Supplement Ear Infection Remedies
- Garlic oil ear drops Garlic oil is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
- Zinc Zinc boosts immune function and promotes healing.
- Vitamin C Vitamin C enhances immune function and lowers inflammation.
- Vitamin D3 Vitamin D3 helps support the immune system.
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Middle Ear Infection : Symptoms & Signs
Ear pain is the main symptom of middle ear infection, medically known as otitis media. The pain may be accompanied by a sense of pressure or fullness of the ear. Discharge from the ear canal and fever may be present.
- Temporary hearing loss can result from middle ear infections, and
- he infection may occur in the presence of signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, or cough.
Treatment For Middle Ear Infection
Symptoms of middle ear infection usually improve by themselves within 24-48 hours, so antibiotics arent often needed.
You can give your child paracetamol in recommended doses to help with pain. Your GP might suggest some anaesthetic ear drops if your child has severe pain.
If your child still has pain and is unwell after 48 hours, is particularly unwell or is less than 12 months old, your GP might prescribe a short course of antibiotics, usually penicillin.
Most children improve after a few days of antibiotic treatment, but always make sure your child finishes the whole treatment, even if she seems better. Stopping too soon could make the infection come back. Often your GP will want to see your child again when your child has finished the treatment, to make sure the infection has cleared up.
Putting cotton wool in your childs ear or cleaning discharge with a cotton bud can damage the ear. It isnt recommended.
Recurrent ear infections Some children with recurrent ear infections or glue ear might need a long course of antibiotics.
Glue ear generally improves within three months. Your GP will need to monitor your child during this time to check that its getting better.
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Antibiotics For Ear Infection
The latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say that if a child is older than 2 and isnt running a fever of 102°F or higher or in extreme pain, you should wait at least 48 hours before starting antibiotics. Thats because most infections will resolve on their own, and antibiotics have side effects: They kill off the good bacteria in the body along with the bad and pave the way for Clostridium difficile, an intestinal infection that can cause severe diarrhea.
Frequent rounds of antibiotics also make your child more vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant infections such as MRSA. Plus, any infections caused by a virus wont be helped by antibiotics, since they dont touch viruses, says James Coticchia, M.D., a pediatric ENT with The Studer Family Childrens Hospital at Sacred Heart, in Pensacola, Florida.
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All that said, most pediatric practices are flexible when it comes to the guidelines. Your child will typically need a prescription if the pediatrician spots major redness, pus, or bulging .
Otherwise, many doctors will offer parents a paper script to hold on to or tell them that they can call back in a couple of days for a prescription if the symptoms arent improving, says Ari Brown, M.D., a Parents advisor and author of Baby 411.
But if a kid is really miserable, I will treat with antibiotics right away.
What Causes Chronic Middle Ear Infection Or Inflammation
- The Eustachian tube normally prevents the accumulation of fluid by allowing fluid to drain through the tube.
- Chronic otitis media develops over time, and often starts with a chronic middle ear effusion that does not resolve.
- This persistent fluid will often become contaminated with bacteria, and the bacteria found in chronic otitis media are often different from those found in acute otitis media.
- Therefore, anything that disturbs the function of the Eustachian tube can lead to chronic otitis media.
- In some individuals that are ill from other diseases, and there is pus draining from the ear, there is a danger that otitis media may invade the mastoid bone and reach the brain.
- These individuals need to be seen urgently by a health care professional.
- Do not delay treatment by trying home remedies.
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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.
How To Get Rid Of An Ear Infection Fast
Ear infection is a very common term for us. It can occur in all age group but it can occur more during childhood. Its a common problem but its management is very easy. You can get rid of ear infection very easily without going to a doctor. But in some atypical condition you need to visit the doctors chamber. So dont worry about ear infection.Read this whole article to know, how to get rid of an ear infection fast.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
Very rarely, ear infections that don’t go away or severe repeated middle ear infections can lead to complications. So kids with an earache or a sense of fullness in the ear, especially when combined with fever, should be seen by their doctors if they aren’t getting better after a couple of days.
Ear Infection Treatment: The Scoop On Antibiotics Ear Tubes And Everything In Between
Ever wonder what goes into the decision to prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection or to wait it out? Our experts weigh in on the right way to treat an ear infection.
When you have a child with an earache, you want to make it go away. Now. Completely.
Ear infections are the second most common illness of childhood behind colds, which means that nearly all of us have shown up at the doctor’s office with a cranky child who is holding his ear. It’s natural to expect a prescription for an antibiotic. After all, your child has an infection, right?
But it doesn’t always work that way. Doctors today are less likely to pull out that prescription pad, because the germs that cause ear infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Here’s the scoop on understanding an antibiotic prescription when it comes to ear infections, plus other ear infection remedies out there to help relieve you’re child’s pain.
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Prevention Of Middle Ear Infection
Many children who get recurrent ear infections have grommets put into their eardrums to prevent infection. Grommets are special ventilating tubes that stop fluid from building up behind the eardrum and help preserve hearing. If your child needs grommets, hell see an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Avoid smoking. Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop a range of illnesses, including middle ear infections.
How To Prevent Ear Infections In Babies
Unfortunately, theres no foolproof plan to prevent a baby ear infection. Ear infections can be challenging for parents, Brown says. Its frustrating that you can seem to do all the right things and still have a child who has ear infections over and over. That said, there are a few strategies for minimizing the risk. Heres what you can do:
Avoid secondhand smoke. Children of smokers are more likely to develop ear infections.
Breastfeed. A 2016 University of Texas in Galveston study found that higher rates of breastfeeding may contribute to a reduced risk of ear infection in babies.
Feed baby in an upright position. Brown recommends avoiding nursing baby when shes face-down, since this can allow milk to get into the infection-prone areas of babys ears and lead to an infection.
Get the flu shot. A preliminary 2017 study suggests that the flu vaccine can help reduce the risk of baby ear infection.
Clear babys sinuses. When snot gets into babys ears, it can often result in infection, Burgert explains. Using saline and suction to remove snot may be helpful to prevent an ear infection.
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Baby Ear Infection Treatment
Ear infection in babies typically resolves on its own within a few days, so the strategy should be to keep baby comfortable in the meantime. The common baby ear infection treatment plan, Burgert says, is pain relievers, patience and hugs. While its a common condition thats rarely dangerous, an infection still calls for an evaluation by a doctor, to avoid any potential complications. Talk to your pediatrician about which over-the-counter pain meds, like Tylenol or Motrin, would be best to usebut steer clear of homeopathic ear drops, which arent effective, Burgert says.
Even after the symptoms have disappeared, stop by the doctors office to make sure the ear infection has fully cleared up. You want to make sure that theres no fluid hanging around or scarring in the ear, says Katherine OConnor, MD, a pediatric hospitalist at the Childrens Hospital at Montefiore in New York City.
For a more severe baby ear infection, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:
Inserting tubes in the ears. For recurring ear infections, some doctors will recommend surgery to insert tubes into babys ears. These small tubes are placed through the eardrum to help equalize the pressure, Brown explains. This helps to allow fluid to drain and to prevent ear infections from developing in the first place. This also enables your doctor to place antibiotics into the ear canal and treat the infection at its source, Brown explains.
Can I Do Anything To Prevent Ear Infections In My Child
It is not easy to prevent ear infections, but the following may help reduce the risk:
- keeping your child smoke-free
- breastfeeding your baby for at least 3 to 6 months is thought to be protective against the early development of ear infections – this may be because breastfeeding boosts the infection-fighting system
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Signs Of Ear Infection In Babies
Your little one cant tell you whats hurting her, so to spot the signs of ear infection in baby, you may have to play detective. Heres what to look for:
Runny nose. A baby ear infection is usually a complication from a cold, so a runny nose is a classic symptom, explains Natasha Burgert, MD, a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates in Kansas City, Missouri.
Fever. Babys temperature may range from 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fussiness. Ear infection in babies can be pretty painful, so your little one will likely be irritable and cry a bunch.
Loss of appetite. The pain can be particularly bad during feedings, since sucking and swallowing can cause uncomfortable pressure changes in the middle ear.
Pulling at the ears. Even if baby cant tell you his ear hurts, constant tugging on his ear is a sign it may be bothering him.
Trouble sleeping. The discomfort from a baby ear infection can lead to some restless nights for your little one.
Fluid or redness behind the eardrum. You may notice foul-smelling yellow or white fluid seeping from your childs ear. But some kids have little outward signs at all, Burgert says. The only way to really know if they have an ear infection is for a doctor to take a look.
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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Ii Home Remedies For Ear Infection In Children And Adults Best Treatments:
Children are very susceptible to this infection because their tube from the throat to the middle ear is shorter than the adults tubes. When people get ear infection, the fluid and infectious agents cannot escape from the middle ear and if the children get cold, the tubes from the throat to the middle ear are often clogged. As children grow older and stronger, their resistance will increase and they will get less contamination, cold, and throat infection. In this article, I would like to show you and my other readers some of the best home remedies for ear infection, including: