If your child is experiencing an ear infection, they are sure to be in a good deal of pain and discomfort. This can be difficult to manage as a parent, but there are several things you can do to make this illness easier on your child. The ENT community labels ear infections as one of the most common illnesses that children suffer each year. Most recover after just a few days, but some experience recurrent infections that lead to the surgical insertion of tubes to assist the ear in draining properly. Here are some ways of dealing with ear infections in children.
Pain relief is top priority when dealing with ear infections in children. Many children are capable of getting through their ear infections without outside medical intervention, making treatment as simple as a bit of home care. While it is recommended you see your physician if your child does have an ear infection, there are several ways to tell if you may be able to handle the situation at home:
- 2 years of age or older
- Still eating, drinking as normal
- Willing to play
Use your parental instincts. If you feel that your child is only mildly ill, then rest, over the counter pain relievers and warm compresses may be all that is needed to ease your child’s discomfort until the illness has passed. You may also consult your physician about using ear drops. If your child has already received tubes, you should contact your doctor before inserting any liquid into the ear.
Though many ear infections heal without the need for antibiotics, some children experience infections that are severe and require the extra help. If your child has an infection that is persistent and lasts over a duration of several days, you should consider making an appointment with your doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics. Those with cochlear implants may experience complications during an infection. Antibiotics should always be sought for these types of patients.
It is common to have fluid build-up deep within the ear, behind the eardrum, for several months after an infection. Be sure to consult your physician if your child is experiencing pain or hearing loss after the infection is gone.
If your child is experiencing persistent ear infections or fluid behind the eardrum, your doctor may consider performing surgery to insert tubes that help the ear drain. Having the adenoids or tonsils removed can also help ease the frequency of ear infections in children.
Having tubes inserted into the ear is a very simple, outpatient procedure that can be extremely beneficial to your child if they get infections often. Most children return to school or childcare the very next day. It is very important that the ear is drained and ventilated, which is accomplished with the insertion of tubes.
If your child is experiencing an ear infection, whether sudden or chronic, be sure to contact Atlanta ENT today. We can recommend and give treatment to help your child feel better.