Middle ear infection is one of the most common disorders in infants and young children. By the age of two anisors, about half of the children are taken to the doctor with this condition, also known as otitis media. Here are which babies are more prone to ear infections, how to easily recognize them and what therapeutic measures are required in these situations!
Causes of ear infection or otitis media in children
Otitis media is caused by a virus and often occurs as a result of upper respiratory tract infection. In this situation, Eustachio's tube becomes inflamed and blocked. The horn has the role of connecting the pharynx to the middle ear. When it is blocked, fluid accumulates in the middle ear, behind the eardrum, and thus creates a conducive environment for germ or germ propagation. When the fluid is infected with a virus (especially from the cold or flu), otitis media starts and the first symptoms of pain are manifested, due to the pressure that the accumulated fluid puts on the eardrum.
In addition to colds, influenza and other upper respiratory tract infections, there are other risk factors that can predispose the baby to such infections.
It has been found that exposure to passive smoking and bottle feeding would increase the chances of the baby suffering from this condition.
It seems that otitis media selects its candidates on the basis of sex, boys being more prone to ear infections than girls. And children with a family history of middle otitis may have the disease more often than those who do not have such a history.
Ear infections may also occur due to congenital defects or medical conditions that the child suffers from, allergies or a weak immune system.
Symptoms of otitis media in infants
The main symptom of the infection is local pain. If the baby cannot verbally transmit that the ear hurts, because he is not yet able to speak, you will notice that something is not right, by certain behavioral signs that he indicates to you: he often brings his hand to his ear, becomes irritated, cry etc.
Other symptoms that accompany pain are:
- sore throat;
- sleeping disorders;
- the secretions that bear from the affected ear, etc.
When to contact the doctor
- The child does not sleep a few days after a cold.
- The child is constantly pulling the ear.
- The child repeatedly vomits.
- Fever and irritation persist after two days of treatment.
- The child cannot be quieted by anyone.
- A reddened area or swelling appears behind the ear.
- The child has a history of ear infections.
Treatment of otitis media
In many cases, the treatment of otitis or infection of the middle ear involves only outpatient treatment and aims to improve the symptoms.
Being a viral infection, it is not treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, and especially in children under 2 years, the doctor can prescribe such drugs, due to complications or severe symptoms.
It is important that at the first signs of pain or embarrassment that the child shows in the ear, take him to the doctor, so he can consult and make the correct diagnosis. It will determine, depending on the evolution of the disease, whether or not an antibiotic is needed or what type of treatment is required.
Although many pediatricians recommend antibiotics from the earliest signs of infection, there are some doctors who have given up prescribing such drugs for otitis media. It has been shown that the impact they have on recovery is minimal, even in terms of symptom relief, so they prefer to avoid prescribing and focus only on symptomatic treatment.
In general, the doctor prescribes pain relievers to reduce the pain caused by the infection and antipyretics to lower the fever. These should help the child to feel better and gradually regain his or her previous form.
In some cases, there is a risk that the child may temporarily lose their hearing due to the infection. As a result, it is possible for the pediatrician to recommend, for greater safety, a hearing test to verify how much he was affected by the otitis.
Has your child ever suffered from otitis media or middle ear infection? What therapeutic measures were required? Do you know any other child care secrets at home, in case of otitis media? Tell us your opinions in the comments section below!
Tags Otitis in infants Ear infections Children otitis