Ear infections affect roughly 9 million children according to statistics published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Medically referred to as otitis media, an ear infection can be painful and if left untreated could cause hearing loss in young children. Know the symptoms of an ear infection and how you can have your child treated by a pediatrician at ABC Pediatrics in McKinney, TX.
Causes of Ear Infections
Ear infections most commonly occur in the “middle ear,” which is the area behind the eardrum, so it’s not a place that can be easily accessed or cleaned at home. It is most often caused by the after effects of a cold, upper respiratory infection, or chronic sinusitis. Fluid gets trapped in the middle ear and sits there, allowing bad bacteria to propagate. An ear infection may also happen soon after a child has been swimming. Young children have ears that are still developing, so they may be more susceptible to inflammation.
Ear Infection Symptoms
The first potential symptom of an ear infection, especially in very young children, is unexplained crying and irritability. If the child has trouble hearing you when called, that could be a sign of fluid buildup and a possible irritation that needs to be treated by your McKinney, TX pediatrician as soon as possible. In some cases, the child will experience some nausea, vertigo, and similar symptoms. The ear may also become red and swollen. If you see any of these signs, see a children’s doctor as soon as possible for treatment.
Ear Infection Treatment Options
If it turns out that your child has an ear infection, there are several different courses of action. In some cases, your pediatrician may clean out the ear and recommend that you wait for the infection to clear up on its own. In other cases, antibiotic therapy and pain medication (oral or ear drops) may be required. A decongestant or cold medication could also provide relief. Your pediatrician will also provide you with preventative advice for how to help your child avoid ear infections in the future.
Clear Up Your Child’s Ear Infection
An untreated ear infection could have more serious ramifications on your child’s hearing health. Have it treated promptly by a pediatrician at ABC Pediatrics (Adolescents Babies Children) in McKinney, TX. Call (972) 569-9904 today for an appointment.