Ear Infections

 Ear infections are a common problem for children. Children have smaller ear structures that can become clogged and plugged. Ear infections can happen as a result of your child catching a virus, like a cold, or flu. Bacteria can travel to your child’s middle ear, causing fluid buildup behind your child’s eardrum, which results in inflammation, pain, and an ear infection.

Ear infection signs and symptoms can be very uncomfortable for your child. Some of the signs and symptoms of an ear infection to watch out for include:

  • Draining fluid out of the ears
  • Experiencing trouble hearing sounds and responding
  • Having a fever and trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing problems with balance

Ear infections in young children may be more difficult to notice. Infants and young children may:

  • Take longer to feed
  • Be fussy and crying frequently
  • Be tugging or pulling at their ear

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, you should schedule a visit with the pediatrician. Your pediatrician may recommend antibiotics taken for 7 to 10 days, along with prescription strength eardrops to ease pain and swelling. Taking over-the-counter pain medications like children’s Tylenol can also help relieve painful symptoms.

If your child struggles with chronic ear infections, your pediatrician might recommend a surgical procedure to place a small tube in your child’s eardrum to help drain fluid more efficiently and prevent ear infections in the future.

There are some important steps you can take to prevent ear infections. Remember to:

  • Teach frequent hand washing to prevent bacteria from spreading
  • Have your child receive vaccines to prevent illness and disease
  • Avoid exposing your child to cigarette smoke
  • Don’t let your child be around sick children

To find out more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of an ear infection and how your pediatrician can help your child feel better, call Dr. Jeffrey Mantia at Grandville Pediatrics in Grandville, MI. You can reach him in the office by calling (616) 538-2410, so call now.