I remember the first time Madi had an ear infection, she was 9 months old and I was so worried. She had a fever and was clearly in pain. I took her to her pediatrician who confirmed what Graeme and I suspected that she had an ear infection. As a physician I have diagnosed hundreds of ear infections in children and didn’t realize how distressing it can be to parents until I became a mom.
What are ear infections?
- Ear infections are viral or bacterial infections that occur behind the eardrum.
- They usually occur after a cold.
- The fluid that normally drains from the middle ear into back of the nose is unable to because of swelling or blockage caused by the viral infection.
- This fluid build up can allow bacteria or viruses to multiply, causing an infection.
How do I know if my child has an ear infection?
- Ear infections in children usually cause pain. Your child may tug or rub at their ear if it is causing them pain or may have increased crying and fussiness..
- Ear infections in children can be diagnosed in your family doctors office where a doctor or nurse can look in the ear to diagnose an ear infection. They are looking for redness and bulging of the eardrum.
How are ear infections treated?
- They may need treatment with antibiotics.
- Some ear infections are viral and will go away on their own. Your doctor may allow 1-2 days to pass before starting antibiotics to see if the infection goes away by itself.
- Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen work well for treating pain and fevers, which will help your child be more comfortable while they are fighting the infection.