Need to know more about ear infections in kids? We have you covered!
What is an Ear Infection?
An ear infection is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of infections that affect the middle ear. These infections occur when the eustachian tubes- which connect the middle ear to the inner ear- swell, prohibiting fluid from draining out of the ear canal.
The most common infection is acute otitis media, an infection behind the eardrum. An additional, less common type of ear infection is otitis media with effusion, which is fluid trapped behind the eardrum, but typically has no symptoms.
What are Ear Infections in Kids?
Ear infections in children are very common and generally not a large concern, but they can be very uncomfortable. They can occur all on their own when fluid remains in the middle ear for a long time. Other times, ear infections can result from other illnesses like colds or the flu.
Signs of an Ear Infection in Kids
This condition is characterized by a few key signs. The most signs that your child has an ear infection are:
- Ear pain
- Swelling of the outer ear or behind the ears
- Trouble chewing or lying down
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Heat behind or near the ear
- Itching of the ear canal
How are Ear Infections Tested?
There is no official test for a middle ear infection. Your medical provider will look inside your ear and determine if this is what you are suffering from.
What are the Treatment Options?
There are a few different ways in which your medical provider may choose to treat an ear infection. Here are some of the most common ways:
- Over-the-counter pain medications
- Anesthetic ear drops
- Medical providers may prescribe antibiotics, if necessary
How to Reduce the Risk of Ear Infections
Although ear infections are not totally preventable, here are some good tips to try and reduce the risk:
- Keep ears clean and dry.
- Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Wash hands frequently to avoid other illnesses that may cause ear infections.
Turn to KidsStreet Urgent Care
If your child is experiencing any of the above-listed symptoms that are consistent with an ear infection, worry no more. KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to get your children healing and feeling better. We are a family-friendly establishment that diagnoses and treats ear infections on a regular basis.
We recommend registering online so you can wait in the comfort of your home or car. Registering online allows you to enter the queue before ever entering the office, thus reducing in-clinic wait times.
Walk-ins are always welcome, but please note that you may experience longer wait times than those who previously registered online.