How To Determine If Your Child Has An Ear Infection

Children are prone to ear infections, because their Eustachian tubes are still growing. It has been reported that 5 out of 6 children will be diagnosed with otitis media, by the time they turn three years old.

Onset on Otitis Media

The onset of otitis media will normally follow a bout of rhinitis (common cold), sinusitis, and other upper respiratory illnesses. Fluid will become trapped in the middle ear, behind the eardrum and over time the fluid will build up causing inflammation.

An earache will go away on its own, without any type of treatment, but you can use a warm compress or water bottle to soothe the pain and reduce the inflammation. Of course, otitis media will require a pediatric visit, in order to get a genuine diagnosis.

If your child becomes restless and tugging at his ears, he may very well be suffering from otitis media. While a small infant cannot verbally tell you what ails him, you as a parent will need to learn the warning signs of an ear infection.

Signs of Otitis Media

Most children exhibit the same symptoms, when it involves many of the childhood illness, especially otitis media. Symptoms may include:

· Pulling the ears

· Irritability with/without crying

· Insomnia

· Fluid or pus drainage noted from the affected ear

· Poor balance (this can be very difficult to notice in toddlers, because they are just beginning to learn how to walk)

· Difficulty hearing

A troublesome Fever is as follows: younger than 3 months (100.4 F), 3-6 months (102 F), 6-24 months (higher than 102 F) will require emergency treatment to determine the source of infection.

Lower Immunity

Young infants and children will not have yet developed strong immunity, which means their immune system may not be able to combat the antigen (bacteria). The adenoids (nasopharyngeal tonsil), which are located in the nasal cavity are part of the immune system.

The adenoids will work diligently to trap bacteria and prevent it from entering the body. The adenoid tonsils can become enlarged due to upper respiratory tract infections, which mean they will not be able to function properly.

Otitis Media Diagnosis

When you take your infant to the emergency room or pediatrician, they will immediately begin to do a head to toe examination. This exam will involve using an otoscope to look inside the ears, oral and nasal cavities. The nurse will also check your child’s temperature and blood pressure.

Otitis Media Treatment

Once the pediatrician has determined that your child has acute otitis media, an antibiotic will be prescribed. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle to a tee, because you definitely want to completely eradicate the bacteria. Fluid may potentially remain in the ear canal for several weeks, but this is nothing to be concerned about, because it will disappear gradually.

Preventions

Avoid smoking around your child, because tobacco smoke can potentially increase your child’s risks of upper respiratory and ear infections. The 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is also available for all children under the age of 2.