There are specialized ENT centres that treat a wide variety of ear infections. These centres are staffed with specialist ENT doctors and support staff and have advanced equipments for testing, diagnosing and treatment of ear infections in adults as well as children.
What is Ear Infection?
The ear is divided into outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Infections affect all these three parts of the ear. The infection that affects the middle ear is called the common ear infection.
The middle ear is the small part of the ear behind the eardrum. It gets infected when the germs from the nose and throat get trapped there. There is a small tube that connects the ear to the throat called the Eustachian tube. During a cold the tube swells and becomes blocked, then it traps fluid inside the middle ear. This is a condition that is ideal for germs to grow and it causes the infection in the ear.
Ear Infection in Children
Young children have small tubes that connect the ear to the throat and these get easily blocked because of their size.
The main symptom of an ear infection in children is the ear ache. It can be mild or it may hurt badly and children and babies get irritated and fussy. They usually pull at their ears and cry. They will have trouble sleeping and may also run fever. Sometimes a yellow fluid oozes out of the year, this is because of the eardrum bursting and the infected fluid coming out of the middle ear. This is not serious and it lessens the ear pain. The ear drum heals on its own.
When there is no pain the child may say that his/her ears seem plugged and his/her cannot hear anything. Hearing returns to normal once the fluid goes away which may take weeks.
Treatment For Ear Infection
Normally the ear infection cures by itself but in severe cases you can consult an ENT specialist. The doctor will examine the child using special equipments to look into the ears and then prescribe medications including antibiotics for severe infections. Doctor will also prescribe some ear drops to soothe and relieve the pain in the ear. It is best not to do any self medications when a child has severe ear infection.
Ways to Prevent Ear Infection
The following are certain steps to prevent ear infection in children:
- Avoiding smoking with children around
- Encourage hand washing
- Get your child immunized as per the schedule.
- Breast feed the baby properly.
- Do not let the baby go to sleep while sucking from the milk bottle
- Do not poke ear with ear buds/pencils/keys.