Ear infections are common in children and can occur as:
- External ear infections: occur because of ear trauma, ear digging, ear wax, swimming in non-chlorinated water, or many times unexplained reasons.
- Middle ear infections: occur because of a cold, flu, poorly controlled nasal allergy, sinusitis, adenoiditis and tonsilitis.
How can you tell your child may be having a ear infection?
- Ear pain
- Tugging or pulling at the ear
- Trouble sleeping
- Irritability or fussiness in babies
- Trouble hearing or having to call multiple times or speak louder
- Fluid drainage from the ear
- Loss of appetite
Parents should treat ear infections seriously as they can worsen and cause complications. In addition, ear infections prevent children from hearing which compromises their ability to listen in school, affect their speech and pronunciation, and in severe cases it can affect their balance by causing dizziness.
Consult an ENT specialist early to start treatment early. Treatment options for ear infections include:
- Oral antibiotics
- Topical antibiotic ear drops
- Pain and fever medication
- Grommet tubes to drain middle ear fluid
- Monitoring of hearing if hearing compromised from ear infections