Think back to when you were a child. Do you remember getting ear infections? Have you noticed that now, as an adult, you no longer get these painful infections? That’s because they are most common in children. “An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum,” stated in an article by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Five out of six children will have an ear infection by their third birthday. One of the most common reasons parents bring their child to their pediatrician is to treat an ear infection.
Ear infections are more common in children because their Eustachian tubes are smaller than an adult’s. This makes it difficult for fluids to drain out of the ear. In addition to small tubes, a child’s immune system is less effective than adults, making it difficult to fight off the infection on their own. Most often, an ear infection accompanies other illnesses such as the common cold or the flu.
If your child is at an age where he or she is speaking clearly, they may state that their ear hurts when they have an ear infection. But how will you know if your child is suffering from an ear infection if they are unable to verbalize their pain? Signs to look for are:
= Tugging or pulling at the ear
= Unusual fussiness or crying
= Trouble sleeping
= Fluid draining from the ear
= Clumsiness or trouble balancing
= Trouble hearing or responding to quiet noises
It is important to visit your child’s pediatrician once you notice signs of discomfort or pain in your child. The doctor will be able to confirm the cause of your child’s pain. He will be able to recommend over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or eardrops to ease the pain and reduce any fever. He may also prescribe an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin, to take over the course of seven to ten days. It is important to make sure your child takes the antibiotic as directed in order to completely clear out the infection.
If your child is suffering from a painful ear infection, contact Dr. Rezk at Rainbow Pediatrics is now accepting new patients. To schedule your child’s appointment, call today at (850) 257-5524 or visit www.rainbowped.com.