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What Every Parent Needs to Know About Ear Infections

It’s easy to panic when you don’t know what to do about your child’s ear infection.  The pain is overwhelming and half the time they don’t even know how to tell you what’s wrong.  If you know how to spot the signs though, both you and your kid can keep the pain to a minimum.

Pain, pain, go away

Trying to figure out what is causing your child’s ear pain can be a shot in the dark.  In order to avoid blindly jumping to conclusions or misdiagnosing, you should know what an ear infection is to begin with.

In children, ear infections typically occur after a cold.  Viruses or bacteria take advantage of the weakened immune system and assault the ear.  Usually filled with fluid, the infection causes pus and inflammation, pressing against the eardrum and bringing on a whole lot of pain.

That brings us to the first sign you should look out for.  The eardrum should be so swollen it has a visible “bulge”.  Other symptoms besides the pain include itching, fever and leaking fluid.  Watch your child, if they’re constantly fussing with their ear and crying then you can move on to check for the other symptoms.

The next bit of information that’s crucial is knowing how to respond.  Your first instinct may not be the right one and realizing when to get help can spare your kid a lot of suffering.

Game plan

In order to keep your child’s suffering to a minimum, you’re going to need a strategy.  Your first reaction should be painkillers.  A mild painkiller will allow them to wait out the symptoms with far less ear pain.  We all know kids aren’t great at waiting though and in this case, they shouldn’t.

If the ear infection doesn’t resolve itself within two days, you need to consider antibiotics.  You may be wondering:  Why not use them right off the bat?  Well, you don’t want to use it if you don’t have to.

Antibiotics are great when they’re needed but when they’re not, they can cause allergic reactions or stomach discomfort adding to your problems.  Worse, bugs can adapt and change when overexposed to antibiotics and the last thing we need is a superbug.

A doctor should definitely examine your child before administering antibiotics but what do you do if this keeps happening?  Granted, kids get ear infections often but if you notice it’s far more than it should be, you may want to find a specialist.

Under close scrutiny

If you think there’s something more to your kid’s frequent ear infections, another kind of doctor can help you dig for answers.  ENTs or Ear, Nose and Throat doctors are experts when it comes to ear infections.

At Houston Sinus & Allergy, we assess patients for the severity of their condition, and determine a treatment. Book an assessment with our experienced ENT, Dr. Nguyen, and start feeling better.

Not only can they help resolve the current one, they can diagnose any conditions your child may have that will cause more in the future.

Don’t cut any corners when it comes to your child’s ear infection.  If you do, you’re going to be the one crying.