Swimmer’s ear is an infection that affects many children. Despite its name, swimming is not the only causative factor. You child could show the symptoms even after taking a shower. This infection is usually caused due to unclean water that comes into contact with your child’s ear.
This problem could lead to itchiness, pain and hearing loss of your child. It is very important to take your child to a doctor and get the problem treated as soon as possible because it can spread and become dangerous if not treated properly.
Signs of Swimmer’s Ear
The first and most major sign of the condition is the pain that your child will feel, especially when the ear is pulled. Movement of the jaw like a chewing movement may also bring up the pain. You may also start to notice some swelling in the area. The lymph nodes might also become tender. In time, you will also find a discharge from the ear. Usually, this discharge is colorless in the beginning but it starts to turn yellow or become puss-like. Hearing loss and redness around the area is also a common phenomenon.
If the symptoms are not treated immediately, it can lead to a lot of future complications. Immediate complications will include loss of hearing and a lot of itching in the ears. Long term effects can include spreading of the infection to other parts of the ear, including the skull bone. If this happens, it can be dangerous, especially if your child suffers from diabetes. In this case, malignant otitis externa can occur which will then have to be treated by high-dose antibiotics that will have to be given through the vein.
Treatment for Swimmer’s Ear
Professional medical treatment is essential if your child is suffering from this condition. Here are some ways that doctors usually treat this problem:
• Antibiotic drops are most commonly given for a period extending to two weeks
• If there is a lot of swelling, a wick may have to be put in and drops might have to be put through this way so that they get to the ear canal
• Medicine to reduce the inflammation as well as pain relief medication is also often given along with the antibiotics in order to provide relief to the child
• Oral antibiotics for bad infections that have spread beyond the ear
• Acetic acid drops
In order to have temporary relief before you can get to the doctor, try placing something warm against the ear to ease the pain. Usually, proper treatment will get rid of this infection but those suffering from chronic symptoms could have to undergo continuous treatment in order to avoid any major complications.