A close-cropped image of a doctor examining the ear of a young girl with a otoscope, checking for an ear infection.

Does your child have an ear infection?

“My Ear Hurts” is a statement that parents often dread. Immediately, you think ear infection. However, it is important that you don’t jump to conclusions. Before you start panicking, here are a few facts about ear infections that you should know to not only help your child but know when to seek help from a doctor or otolaryngologist.

Causes

Most illnesses are caused by either bacterium of viruses. The eustachian tubes is a part of the body that drains fluids from the middle ear. When it is swollen due to infection, it doesn’t function properly. Fluid is instead pulled into the middle ear, causing bacteria to grow.

Common Symptoms of an Ear Infection

Symptoms are your number one indicator of an ear infection. So, it’s crucial that you know what to look for. If you are worried, then check to see if your child has any of the following:

  • The common cold.
  • Irritation during the day or night.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Trouble laying down straight.
  • Blood or pus in the ear.
  • Ear pain.

When to Call Your Doctor

These symptoms are serious. Blood or pus coming out of the ear probably means a ruptured ear drum. The ear drums swell and can burst, especially if your child messes with it. Now, this can heal, but a professional can tell you what to do so it heals properly.

If the pain is too great or your child cannot hear, then visit your doctor or an otolaryngologist. You shouldn’t wait for their temperature to go down. Ear infection can also be the cause of a fever and stiff neck. Home treatment only works so much, and very little if your child’s condition is severe.

Hopefully, this helps you find the signs of an ear infection. Next week, find out how to prevent an ear infection from occurring.