Ear Infections in Children
posted by Revere Health | April 12, 2017
Ear infections, known as acute otitis media, affect the little pocket of air behind the eardrum that contains the vibrating bones of the ear. They are accompanied by pain and inflammation, and they’re most common in children.
In many cases, simple ear infections clear up on their own. In others, though, larger problems like fluid buildup and chronic infections might occur. Here are some basic facts about ear infections and how you can prevent them.
The symptoms of ear infections vary between adults and children, though they often overlap. In most cases, these symptoms will come on quickly and noticeably. They include:
Children often exhibit several additional symptoms:
If your child is less than six months old or if symptoms are present for more than a day, see a doctor right away. (For adults, severe ear pain or discharge are signs that you need to see a doctor.)
In most cases, there are no long-term complications associated with ear infections, but those with chronic infections or who have fluid buildup may experience additional problems:
In many cases, the bacterium or virus that causes ear infections is present from another illness, like the flu or an allergy, causing congestion in important areas of the body:
In most cases, your doctor can diagnose ear infections and similar conditions based on just your symptoms. In other cases, they may choose from a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment methods for ear infections vary depending on the individual case. General approaches include:
There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of ear infections, especially in children:
“Ear infection (middle ear).” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/home/ovc-20199482
“Ear Infections – Prevention.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/ear-infections-prevention
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.
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