The symptoms of an ear infection will depend on the age of the patient. In children, they include:
In adults with an ear infection, the symptoms include:
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent all ear infections. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your and your child’s risk. Here’s how:
Adjust bottle feedings. Babies who drink from a bottle while laying down are more prone to ear infections, so try to bottle feed your child while he or she is sitting upright.
Wash hands often. Wash your and your child’s hands with soap and water often to prevent the spread of germs that can cause ear infections.
Wean from pacifiers. After one-year-old, children who still use pacifiers are at an increased risk for ear infections.
Breastfeed. Babies who are breastfed for at least one year have fewer infections.
Avoid polluted air. Get plenty of fresh air and avoid pollution and cigarette smoke.
Immunize. Get your child immunized according to your Miami ENT's recommended schedule.
Pain management. If the ear infection is caused by a virus, you will need to wait for the virus to clear on its own. In the meantime, your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, along with a heating pad to help manage your discomfort.
Antibiotics. If the ear infection is caused by bacteria, an antibiotic will probably be prescribed. It is important to take the full treatment course, otherwise the infection could return and become resistant to medication.
Myringotomy. If an infection progresses and causes complications, or if it continues to recur after treatment, a myringotomy may be recommended. To perform this procedure, your doctor will make a small hole in the ear drum to drain the area. A tube may also be inserted to prevent the ear from getting backed up again.
Ear infections are a common and frustrating ailment. Work with your SFENTA ear, nose and throat physician to diagnose, treat and prevent them.
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