Ear Infections in Children
What is an ear infection?
Middle ear infections are common in young children, and almost all children have at least one infection by the age of five. Usually, ear infections are the result of a bacterial or viral infection in the ear, causing inflammation, redness, and fluid buildup and drainage. In most cases, ear infections are short-term, treatable with medication, and cause no long-term damage to the ear. However, in some cases a child will experience an ear infection that is long-lasting or recurring. These kinds of ear infections can cause permanent damage to the ear and usually require further medical intervention from an ear, nose and throat specialist, such as New York ENT.
What causes ear infections in children?
Ear infections in children are usually caused when the passage between a child’s middle ear and throat is blocked and unable to keep germs from entering the middle ear. Generally, ear infections are caused by another condition, which can include:
- Sinus infection
- Enlarged adenoids
- Excessive mucus / runny nose that does not drain properly
What are the symptoms of pediatric ear infection?
Symptoms for an ear infection vary depending on the age of the child.
Infant Ear Infection Symptoms
- Tugging on the ear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased appetite
- Fluid draining from ear, which may smell foul
Child Ear Infection Symptoms
- Ear pain that is worse when lying down
- Tugging on the ear
- Trouble sleeping
- Crying more than usual
- Loss of balance
- Loss of hearing
When should I take my child to see a doctor for an ear infection?
If your child experiences any of the above symptoms that last more than a few days, it is important to have them evaluated by an ear, nose and throat physician with New York ENT. A profession examination can determine whether the condition is acute or chronic, and allows doctors to make appropriate treatment recommendations.
How is a pediatric ear infection treated?
Depending on the severity of the infection, a doctor from New York ENT might recommend any of the following treatments:
- Home treatment (according to your doctor’s instructions)
If you believe your child may be suffering from an ear infection, the first step is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of pediatric ear conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.