Posts for tag: ear infections
Could your child have an ear infection? An ear infection happens when your child gets infected fluid or pus behind the eardrum. If you think your child has an ear infection, take him or her to an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor. West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery, with offices in Thousand Oaks, CA, Simi Valley, CA, Oxnard, CA, and Camarillo, CA, offers treatments for ear infections. Read on to learn more!
Ear Infections Overview- Ear infections are common in kids, though they can develop in both children and adults. Ear infections occur when fluid builds up in the middle ear and they are the most common reason parents bring their children to an ENT doctor. Ear infections can cause temporary hearing loss in children, so it's a good idea to take your child to a doctor if you suspect that they may have come down with one.
Causes of Ear Infections- Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria that occurs when fluid builds up in the ear, and they often begin after a child has a sore throat or a cold. Eustachian tubes are smaller in kids than they are in adults, which can make it difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear. Consequently, children are more likely to get ear infections than adults.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection- The most common symptom of an ear infection is an earache. Older children may complain of an earache, but an infant might just pull and tug at the ear and cry more often. A low-grade fever is another one of the hallmarks of an ear infection in children. You may also notice white or yellow fluid draining from your child's ear.
Diagnosis of Ear Infections- An ENT doctor can diagnose an ear infection based on the described symptoms and an exam. The doctor may also use a lighted instrument, called an otoscope, to examine your child's eardrum and check for fluid behind the eardrum.
Treatment of Ear Infections- The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to be taken over seven to ten days, and/or an over-the-counter pain reliever or eardrops to help with fever and pain. It's important to make sure your child takes the medications exactly as prescribed and for the full amount of time. Stopping the medication too soon could allow the infection to come back.
An ear infection can affect your child's daily activities and make life miserable. Call West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery at 805-379-9646 today to schedule an appointment in Thousand Oaks, CA. Call 805-527-7320 to schedule an appointment in Simi Valley, CA. Call 805-983-0395 to schedule an appointment in Oxnard, CA. Call 805-484-5929 to schedule an appointment in Camarillo, CA. We will help your child achieve relief with little expense or trouble.
Oh, no, your child's ear pain is back. The fever, the muffled hearing and "yucky" feeling indicate a middle ear infection. You and your family have played this song before. How can you treat this problem? At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, CA, the board-certified otolaryngologists come alongside the pediatrician, parent, and child in working through this stubborn and frequent problem. Learn more here about ear infections and what prevention and treatment look like.
The two kinds
You are probably most familiar with otitis media, a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear. After a cold, the flu or sore throat, fluid builds up behind the ear drum, or tympanic membrane, which vibrates as the ear receives sound.
As fluid accumulates, pain, pressure, loss of balance, and hearing, fever and even ear drum rupture can result. Children and adults fall prey to this condition, but otitis media develops more in children as they have horizontally oriented eustachian tubes which transmit bacteria to the ear. Additionally, exposure to cigarette smoke and allergies are risk factors.
The other kind of ear infection involves the outer ear. Called otitis externa, or swimmer's ear, this painful problem makes the outside of the ear and ear canal sore and red. Often, it stems from water stagnating in the canal, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. Left unchecked, swimmer's ear may worsen into cellulitis, causing skin, cartilage, and bone damage.
Prevention and treatment
To diagnose ear infections, your otolaryngologist will use an otoscope to light the ear canal and inspect it and the ear drum, or tympanic membrane. He or she will perform a tympanogram, a simple test which measures how mobile the ear drum is. The physician also will evaluate symptoms.
Treatment for both otitis externa and otitis media often involves oral antibiotics, over the counter analgesics and soothing the ear with a warm compress. Children often benefit from insertion of ear tubes or adenoid removal, but the ENT doctor will determine treatment based on individual need.
To prevent otitis externa, the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics says that keeping the ears dry helps avoid infection. Earplugs facilitate this as does gently drying the ears with a blow dryer after swimming or other prolonged exposure to moisture.
Regarding otitis media, many children simply stop getting these infections because, as they grow, their eustachian tubes become more vertical and therefore, are healthier. Some children, however, require continued antibiotic therapy to stave off infection while others need a procedure called a myringotomy.
During a myringotomy, the physician creates a small opening into each ear drum. Then, the doctor inserts thin plastic, teflon or metal tubes which allow the accumulated fluid to drain. Tubes stay in place for several months.
The professional staff at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat encourage patients to seek treatment for troublesome ear infections. To find out more, contact the office team for an appointment. We have four convenient locations in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, CA.
Ear infections are very common in children. These infections can cause a variety of symptoms for which medication is needed. If you need treatment for ear infections in Ventura County, California, look to the professionals at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat. The most common type of ear infection is known as otitis media with effusion. This happens in nearly all children before school age (from six months to 4 years old). This often occurs after a viral infection or cold and usually clears up on its own. However, if it doesn’t, it is important to visit an ENT doctor to prevent further development or worsening of symptoms of an ear infection.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection
The most common symptom of any ear infection is
Many children also will have trouble sleeping and may get a fever. You may also notice fluid draining from your child’s ear. This fluid may even have a foul odor different than normal earwax. As drainage starts, the pain or pressure most often will decrease. If this happens, it isn’t an emergency, but it is important to have your ear infections evaluated by a professional ENT doctor.
During this important appointment, surgery may be suggested if your child has continuous ear infections. Tubes are inserted into the eardrum which helps equalize pressure in the middle ear. This helps prevent future ear infections and the amount of fluid there.
With the proper consultation, your child’s ear infections in Ventura County, California can be successfully treated. To schedule an appointment at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat, call 805-379-9646 today.
Your Camarillo ENT doctor recommends these handy hints for both preventing and treating an ear infection.
No one likes dealing with the pain and discomfort of an ear infection, but at some point in our lives we will probably deal with this pesky problem. However, it’s just as important to know what you can do to prevent an ear infection from affecting you or your children.
Preventing Ear Infections
There are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to help ensure that both you and your child do not develop ear infections:
- Don’t allow smoking in the house. Ear infections occur more often in children who are around cigarette smoke.
- Wash both yours and your child’s hands often to prevent the spread of germs, which can cause infection.
- Keep both you and your child up-to-date on all immunizations.
- Children should avoid using a pacifier altogether by the time they turn 1-year-old, as children who use a pacifier after 12 months are more likely to develop ear infections.
If you still find yourself dealing with an ear infection, most cases can be handled with the proper self-measures. This includes taking over-the-counter medications and getting plenty of rest. However, it’s important to always follow all directions on over-the-counter products, especially when it comes to children. Children under a certain age should not take certain medications, so it’s important to read all the directions before using.
When to See Your Camarillo ENT Doctor
It’s important to always keep track of you or your child’s symptoms to know when it’s time to make an immediate trip to the doctor’s. Any of these symptoms warrant a visit to our Camarillo ENT office:
- A temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F
- Blood or pus in the ears
- If you’ve already been diagnosed with an infection and the symptoms get worse
- If your child is under three months old and has a fever, this is a medical emergency and you need to see a doctor immediately.
When you come into our office we will look at several factors regarding your infection to see if antibiotics is required to treat your ear infection.
If you or your child is experiencing any of these painful or serious symptoms then it’s time to see your Camarillo ENT doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat. Don’t let ear infections keep you from your daily activities!
3 Tips for Preventing Ear Infections
Your child is complaining of a headache. She’s having trouble sleeping and is crying more than usual. When you wake her up in the morning, you notice her pillow is slightly damp, just where her ear was. She’s got an ear infection.
Your caring ear, nose and throat specialists at West Coast ENT know that children are more likely to get ear infections than adults and when they do, it can cause trouble for everyone in the family. Follow these three tips to prevent your little ones from ear pain.
Help them avoid illness
While it’s good for your child to build up his immune system, you never want to see him sick. We’re not saying keep him in a bubble, but in order to prevent ear infections, your Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo ENT wants you to make sure you instill good hygiene habits in your children. Be sure they wash their hands frequently and thoroughly and do not share eating utensils, or anything they put in their mouth, with other children.
It’s also best to avoid prolonged periods in group child care. If possible, limit the size of the group to just a few children and keep your kids home if they are ill.
Breastfeed your child
Studies have shown that breastfeeding your child for at least the first six months of his or her life can provide them with antibodies to help them fight off ear infections.
If or when you do choose to bottle-feed your baby, be sure to do so as they are in an upright position, not lying down and especially not as they are lying in their crib.
Vaccinate your child
By vaccinating your child, you are, in effect, ensuring that they don’t contract certain potentially life-threatening diseases. Having your Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo doctor give them a pneumococcal vaccine, for illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis, can save them the pain of an ear infection, on top of the other dangerous conditions. Additionally, be sure your child receives seasonal flu shots each year, as ear infections and the flu can go hand-in-hand.
The otolaryngology specialists at West Coast ENT care about your health and the health of your child. Help prevent the pain of ear infections by following these three easy steps. For more information or if you believe you or your child may have an ear infection, please contact one of our Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, or Camarillo offices today.