Signs Your Child Could Have an Ear Infection
Is your baby fussy, crying, running a low-grade fever? Is your school-age child complaining of earache pain? These signs and more may indicate a middle ear infection. At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat Head and Neck Surgery in Simi Valley, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Camarillo, our team of seven ENT doctors can help if your child is dealing with an ear infection.
What causes an ear infection?
It's a bacterial infection of the middle ear structure. Often involving fluid behind the ear drum, pain, drainage, and fever, otitis media plagues millions of American children annually, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. An ear infection may impact hearing.
Diagnosing and treating ear infections
At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat Head and Neck Surgery, your otolaryngologist will inspect your child's ear canal and tympanic membrane (ear drum) with a lighted otoscope. The ear drum often appears bulging and dull because of bacteria-filled fluid behind the ear drum. The ear canal itself may look reddened and feel tender, too.
In addition, the physician will review symptoms and recommend a course of treatment--not only to cure the infection but also to help prevent re-occurrence. Often, young children experience repeat infections because of the horizontal orientations and short lengths of their eustachian tubes, the canals between the middle ear and throat, state experts at the Cleveland Clinic.
A care plan can include:
- Adequate hydration
- A course of antibiotics
- No smoking around the child
- Positioning a bottle-fed baby sitting up to promote drainage
A word on ear tubes...
Some children benefit from ventilation tubes installed in their ear drums to promote aeration and fluid drainage. Tiny and painless, ear tubes help kids who have infection after infection and can be a great alternative to repeat courses of antibiotics. Ask your ENT doctor if they are a good option for your child.
Yes, they can be part of childhood
However, ear infections should be taken seriously. If you suspect your youngster needs help keeping his or her ears infection-free, please contact West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat Head and Neck Surgery for a consultation with one of our caring doctors. We have locations in Simi Valley, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Camarillo. Call (805) 484-5929 for Camarillo, (805) 527-7320 for Simi Valley, (805) 379-9646 for Thousand Oaks, and (805) 983-0395 for Oxnard.