What Parents Need To Know About Ear Infections

Ear Infections In Children

No parent wants their children to be in pain, but as little human beings, they go through illnesses just like adults. The problem is, they can’t always tell us what’s wrong. One of the common ailments children and parents will have to deal with is an ear infection, either in one or both ears. In fact, some children get them so often, they have to have tubes inserted into their ears. As a parent, you want to watch out for illnesses in your child so you can ease their discomfort—especially from painful ear infections.

Why Are Kids Prone To An Ear Infection?

Ear infections happen when fluid gets stuck in the middle ear, (the air-filled space between the eardrums), and a virus or bacteria infects that middle ear fluid. It happens when the passageway between the throat and the middle ear gets blocked, which can happen easily during a cold. Ear infections often develop as a cold is on the way out. Allergies can also inflame the area and cause an infection. While children get a lot of colds, they are also prone to ear infections because the tube that connects those areas is shorter and less angled. Because children’s immune systems are still in the developing stage they can’t fight viruses and bacteria as well, so more germs can get trapped in the middle ear.

How Do Parents Identify An Ear Infection?

Because babies and infants don’t have control over their language yet, it’s hard to know how they are feeling and what hurts. An ear infection can be hard to catch. Older kids can tell you that their ear hurts, but younger ones can’t. Many infants will tug on their ears or they will be more upset when they are lying down. If the child has trouble sleeping, doesn’t eat much, or has a fever, they might have an ear infection. They may also have trouble hearing because their ears are blocked with fluid. Of course, a red flag for an ear infection is pus draining from the child’s ear.

Are Antibiotics Necessary For An Ear Infection?

Though antibiotics are often used for ear infections, they don’t always have to be used in order for the infection to clear up on its own. Infections caused by bacteria can improve on their own, and repeated antibiotics can develop resistant bacteria, which is another big problem. But when they are absolutely necessary, antibiotics can relieve pain quickly for an ear infection.

Better Safe Than Sorry

When it comes to your child’s health, your best option is to see a doctor and get a professional evaluation to determine if your child is suffering from an ear infection. Whether you have dealt with ear infections in your children before, or think they have the symptoms but just aren’t sure, visit Breathe Clear for help. We want your child to get back to their everyday activities as soon as possible, so give us a call for an appointment.