Ear infectionHow are ear infections treated?
Ear infections, or otitis media, are extremely common in babies, toddlers and children. Thier eustachian tubes are short and narrow which puts them at higher risk of developing an infection. Eustachian tubes are horizontal in young children and drainage is poor. When the fluid can not drain properly, it builds up in the middle ear and cases serious otitis media. Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria and viruses or even allergies in some cases. Babies are more prone to ear infections because they feed while lying down on their backs and because they have immature immune responses.
Symptoms of an acute ear infection are ear pain which is often worse at night. You might notice that your child pulls, rubs or holds his ears or cries when feeding. Other symptoms are fever, fatigue, irritability, nausea, vomitting and loss of appetite. Occasionally, there are no symptoms and an ear infection is found at a routine check-up. In serious otitis media there is usually temporary hearing loss, clicking or popping sounds when swallowing and fluid in the ear.
Ear infections are not contagious. However, ear infections often follow a cold or the flu, which are extremely contagious. Children in daycare are often more susceptible to ear infections. Ear infections can last for a few days or become chronic.
If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, it is necessary to seek the advice of a doctor. Call your doctor as soon as you suspect that your child may have an ear infection. Antibiotics are often necessary and your child should take them for the entire time that they are prescribed, even if she feels better. Your child's doctor may also give you an ear drop to use. The drops usually help the pain from the infection. Heat applied to the ear often helps as well. If the ear infection has gotten serious, it may be necessary to have minor surgery to drain infected fluid from the ear. If the infections are chonic, a drainage tube may be necessary.
You can not totally prevent an ear infection, but research has shown some methods of helping to prevent the infections. Good health with adequate nutrition, rest and regularly scheduled well-visits are important. Breastfeeding infants for atleast three months has been shown to decrease ear infections. Elevate your child when you are nursing or bottle feeding them and elevate your child's head when they are sick. Limit the amount of time your child spends sucking on a pacifier during the day and take the pacifier out of his mouth once he is asleep. Providing your child with a smoke-free environment is one of the best things you can do to prevent ear infections.
Comments: Ear infection
Comments 1 to 15 of about 15.
1 ms m
629 days ago.
My son had ear infections constantly, when he was 14 months he had had about 10 infections. We were worried about him constantly having antibiotics so we had grommets or tubes put in his ears at 18 months. The grommets stayed in his ears for about a year before falling out. Now that they have fallen out he has again had problems so we will definitely have another set put in. Yes, when they are getting over the anesthetics it is horrible and they are unconsolable but it only lasts hours and the pain from constant infections must be far worse. micaela137
1048 days ago.
I want to share an experience. My son had tubes put in his ears because he would get an ear infection atleast once a month for the first two years of his life. They were suppose to fall out after 6 months to a year ... the insurance changed before that one year mark, and we could no longer see the doc that put them in. his pediatrician told us they had fallen out. Now, it is almost three years later, and we had a trip to the ER where they told us, they were still in... so we travled 100 miles to see a ENT who informed us that they were infact still in his ears, and that at this point it may have done damage to his ear drums... as it is he has some hearing loss. Now next month he has to have them surgically removed... and the new ENT says they were permanent tubes, and shouldn't have been left in this long! so make sure if your child gets tubes, that can can follow up with your ENT that puts them in! Tannersmommy
1282 days ago.
Her problem wasn't necessarily with the tubes, i think it was the anesthetia. My mother and grandmother are both very sensitive to it as well. I'm not sure what she was feeling, but she screamed for two hours straight afterwards before finally all of a sudden passing out. Her balance was off for several weeks afterwards as well. Good luck with it. Heather12
1289 days ago.
Aliyah is having tubes put in on Nov 20th she is 16 months old. I'm very anxious about having this done. My oldest daughter Alissa had her tonsils and adnoids removed and she had a reaction to the anesthetia and was flown by helicopter to st louis childrens hospital and was put in the picu there. What kind of problems did your daughter have with her tubes? tannersmommy
1290 days ago.
My now 18 month old daughter had tubes put in during July. She has still been getting sick, but so far no more ear infections. We just finnished round three of antiboitics. (She had been sick for over a month) The last time i took her back her doctor mentioned one of her tubes has already come out. I know they grow out, but should that have happened so soon, it was only 4 months ago. She had a terrible time with the antistetic after the surgery and i will never put tubes in again. I hope she doesn't start getting ear infections again. If your child has had tubes, when did they come out? I'm worried. STCT
1442 days ago.
So my daughter wasn't showing any sign's of a ear infection besides when I barley touched her ear or cleaned it out I could tell it was bothering her. So I decided to take her to the Dr today and sure enought she has a ear infection. She's doing ever well with it.
1450 days ago.
doood you have answer you no need helps. srysss. :) infant of mine has ear infection. sad days...shes so cute, but today :( she hasn't been.
don't defy the coin!!!!!!!! luvbeingamom
1515 days ago.
melissa - Has he had a lot of ear infections? An ear infection in itself is a build up of fluid. My son had 6 months of ear infections (almost completely constant) before getting his tubes at 8 months old. they did do wonderful things for him. they came out at 2 and half, he hasn't had an ear inefection since. Hope your LO feels better. melissa607
1515 days ago.
my son has a douable ear infection . they put him on augmentin .Do u think he wi;; had build up fluid afer and have yo get tubes ? tasha1977
1528 days ago.
My daughter was just diagnosed with an ear infection last week. I have a 12 year old son who's never had an ear infection. I thought because she was getting 3 teeth, that was the reason for her being cranky and running a fever. After the fever wouldn't break one day, I had to bring her to the Dr. Come to find out she had an ear infection. After reading the comments, I did notice that she was having a lot of was in her ears. you never really know what's going on with these babies. She's been on antibiotics for almost a week now and is in better shape. anxioustimes
1529 days ago.
My son has had ear infections since December and we can not get them to clear up and stay gone so we are getting tubes on Friday. I think it is a great thing! IF THERE IS NO REASON FOR MY SON TO GO THROUGH THIS HORRIBLE SCREAMING PAIN then WHY should he??? I am scared anxious and excited. Good luck to you all! babynguyen2
1533 days ago.
This is my daughters third ear infection, her first a double ear infection when she was 6 weeks old and the second just one ear at 4/5 months old and now just one ear again at 7 months. Her doctor said if she gets a couple more during the spring and summer that we would talk tubes! I just knew she had an ear infection this time cause her nose was stopping up. Every time she has nasal congestion an ear infection follows. I hope we don't have to get tubes put in her ears! Bri
1550 days ago.
I had cronic infections growing up. I never had tubes and had infections until I was about 12. My husband had tubes put in around 2. I think no matter what I do my son and any future children will be born with bad ears. We're just in the talking stage of tubes. We'll see. The infections tend to only be during certain times of the year so we're going to see if it is just sickness that brought it on or maybe an allergy. Bri
1551 days ago.
You had to fight to get antibiotics? Why? My son had Amoxicillin at three months. It did clear the infection but hurt his tummy. The next time around we tried Omicef and it works wonders. Plus, it's only once a day and tastes like pina coladas and he likes it. We have a script for him right now. We haven't filled it yet because the infection isn't bothering him but we've had our fair share of ear infections, enough that we are talking about tubes. It's weird because a lot of doctors jump onto antibiotics really quickly when an ear infection starts. My doctor is kind of conservative and will write us one but unless it's really bad lets us decide if it's worth treating. This time around I think it's from a cold so we're hoping it clears up with his runny nose and cough. linzi50
1551 days ago.
My little 7 month old boy has had a terrible ear infection for 7 days. He cried constantly, he couldnt sleep or drink his bottles and we had to keep him dosed up with pain killers. I felt so helpless that i actually cried my eyes out. He was in so much pain. Once the puss and fluid started to drain from the ear he improved but we had to fight to get antibiotics for him.