What You Should Know About Ear Infections
School is ramping up, and crowded classrooms mean making friends (and memories), learning a lot, and having fun. Unfortunately, being around a lot of kids also means there are lots of illnesses floating around. Ear infections can result after a bad cold or throat infection – here are some things you should know about your child and ear infections.
What is an ear infection?
An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, the area inside of the eardrum. They are the result of an infection from viruses or bacteria. The infection causes congestion and swelling of the eustachian tubes, which are narrow tubes in the ears. Fluids can build up in the swollen eustachian tubes and become infected as well.
Ear infections happen more often in children than in adults. It is a very common problem in children, and it is estimated that most children will have an ear infection before they are 3 years old. They can be acute – lasting a short time – or chronic – lasting 3 months or more.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
Ear infections can come on very suddenly. Very young children may indicate they have an ear infection by tugging at their ears, crying more than usual, and being very fussy. They may also have a fever and fluid draining from the ear. It is important to take your infant or toddler to the doctor as soon as you can if you think they might have an ear infection.
Older children and adults may have ear pain, ears that feel plugged up, fever, difficulty hearing, headaches, and even nausea and vomiting.
What are some treatments for an ear infection?
Treatments for ear infections can include a warm compress and over-the-counter pain reliever, and antibiotics if the infection doesn’t go away on its own.
Ear infections can be very painful, and if the infection is severe, surgery may be recommended. Lakeside Allergy ENT specializes in disorders of the ear, and they can help you or your child to find relief from an ear infection. Call (972) 771-5443 today for an appointment at the Rockwall, Forney, or Wylie office.