If you have a small child, then you’ve probably dealt with an ear infection. Although older kids and adults can also have ear problems, young children are more susceptible to them because their bodies are still developing. Here are some facts that parents need to know about ear infections.
What is an Ear Infection?
While any part of the inner ear is susceptible to infection, most ear infections in children occur in the middle ear, which is behind the eardrum. Most infections are due to viruses or bacteria that get in the ear, and then the eustachian tube fills with fluid.
The eustachian tube helps connect the middle ear to the throat. When there is an infection, this tube becomes blocked and inflamed, which is often painful. Many ear infections clear up on their own, but in some cases, you may need to take your child to visit one of our doctors at Lau Medical for a prescription of antibiotics to clear up the infection.
However, if they don’t have a fever, our doctor in Burr Ridge, La Grange, Hinsdale, Chicago, may suggest giving your child children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen ease to their pain.
Causes of Ear Infections
If your child has allergies, a cold, or respiratory infection, fluid can start filling their ear. At this time, bacteria may also start growing in the eustachian tube, making it harder for your child to hear clearly and developing into an ear infection. Also, pressure starts building in the ear, which can be painful for babies or small children.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection
New parents who haven’t dealt with a sick child can become frustrated because they often don’t know why their child is whiny or not resting well. The pressure of infection gets worse when the child is lying down. The symptoms of an ear infection include:
Discomfort or pain in the ear
Temporary hearing loss
Feelings of pressure in the ear
Pus draining from the ear
An ear infection is not contagious, but if your child is susceptible to them, try to keep them away from people with colds, cover their ears when it’s cold, and wash hands frequently. Although they can hurt, ear infections in young kids are mostly harmless, but if they occur too frequently, talk to one of our doctors in Burr Ridge, La Grange, Hinsdale, Chicago, about them.