Ear Infections and Its Symptoms in Kids
Reena had a viral cold where he had a runny nose and other related symptoms. He was up screaming and crying several times at night. A visit to a doctor confirmed that it was more than just cold. He had an ear infection.
Ear infections are very common in small children, but it can be hard to detect as the symptoms could be camouflaged. They occur when the Eustachian tubes (tubes near the eardrum that connect the ear to the back of the throat) become blocked and can’t drain fluid properly. Fluid trapped in these tubes can become a breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in redness and inflammation of the eardrum, and a generally harmless but painful infection.
Though most ear infections are not usually serious and heal quickly, they can make your child pretty uncomfortable. You may keep an eye out for the following to ascertain if your child is suffering from an ear infection:
Ear Drainage – If you notice a yellow or white colored liquid dripping from your baby’s infected ears, it’s an indication enough for an infection.
Cranky or Irritable Mood — With a nagging pain or discomfort in the ears, it is obvious for your kids to be irritable and just go off track.
A sore throat – Seasonal cold can at times make the Eustachian tube swell and lead to fluid accumulation. Bacterial infection in this fluid can lead to infection of the ear.
Difficulty sleeping – Lying down can make an ear infection more painful. Sometimes active, busy kids will complain more about pain when things quiet down at the end of the day or when it’s time for sleep.
Fever – The most common type of ear infection is known as acute otitis media. This is where the middle ear becomes infected, swollen and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum causing ear pain and sometimes fever.
Kids develop ear infections due to an immature immune system and difference in the anatomy of the ear. There is no sure-shot remedy to prevent an ear infection, but the below recommendations should help –
- Vaccinate your child against the flu – Make sure your child gets influenza, or flu, vaccine every year.
- Wash hands frequently – Washing hands prevents the spread of germs and can help keep your child from catching a cold or the flu.
- Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke – can increase your child’s chances of getting an ear infection.
- Steer clear from inserting sharp and unhygienic things – Using unhygienic things to clean ears can cause infection.
An infection in the ear is something that any child might get. But it is very crucial to identify the infection on time, as any delay in detecting the problem can cause prolonged discomfort in the child. And might also risk the chance of your child’s hearing being permanently affected which makes it critical to consult a doctor when your child develops an ear infection. Carengrow health care system help caregivers to observe and treat the symptoms of ear infections which can help the child feel better as he/she recovers.