How to treat ear infection? That depends on the intensity of the infection and the age of your child. Your child’s doctor might recommend an antibiotic if your child has a serious infection, but a lot of children with an ear infection, or severe otitis media (AOM), improve without medication. Typically, it’s best to wait to see if more severe symptoms develop prior to offering a child any medication (this is called “careful waiting”).
What’s The Best Treatment For Child’s Ear Infection?
Talk about which course of treatment to take with your child’s doctor– prescription drugs or careful waiting. Here’s what your child’s doctor is most likely to state:
- If your child is between 6 and 24 months old and has mild symptoms in just one ear, or if he’s at least 2 and has mild symptoms impacting one or both ears, watch on his condition first.
- If your child doesn’t improve in 48 to 72 hours without treatment, then think about beginning an antibiotic.
When are antibiotics necessary?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests treating AOM with antibiotics for:
- Babies 6 months or younger. Infants do not yet have a strong immune system and are especially vulnerable to complications from AOM.
- Children with severe symptoms, such as a high fever, sweating, tiredness, or a quick heartbeat.
- Children below 2 who have moderate symptoms impacting both ears.
Why are medical professionals concerned about antibiotics?
Physicians are usually careful about recommending antibiotics because increasingly more bacteria are becoming resistant to them. And besides adding to antibiotic resistance, giving a child antibiotic medication kills the good bacteria in his body, which can often cause conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.
Also, an ear infection can be caused by either bacteria or a virus. Since antibiotics don’t work against viral infections, medical professionals are more cautious about recommending them.
Drug companies used to stay one step ahead by continually introducing new medications, but bacteria have been mutating quickly in action, making the drugs less reliable. (Doctors say parents can assist combat this problem by not asking for antibiotics for every ear infection.)
If your child does require an antibiotic, offer him the whole course, after he appears to feel better. Then have his ear reconsidered a couple of weeks later on so the doctor can make sure the medication worked.
Call the doctor if your child does not improve after 48 to 72 hours– that is, if he still reveals symptoms, has a fever, or is getting worse. She may want to start him on antibiotics or switch medications.
How can I make my child’s ear infection less painful?
The proper dose of infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if your child is 6 months or older) can eliminate pain. If your child is younger than 3 months, ask his doctor prior to offering him any medication.
Eardrops or a warm compress held to your child’s ear might also help. Ask your child’s doctor or a pharmacist which drops to use. And encourage your child to drink more fluids due to the fact that swallowing assists to drain the middle ear and alleviate painful pressure.
Don’t give your child over-the-counter cold medications such as decongestants or antihistamines. These not only won’t help him improve, however they can also have unsafe side effects in children.
And never ever give your child aspirin due to the fact that it makes him more vulnerable to Reyes syndrome, an unusual but potentially deadly disease.
What can I do to prevent my child from getting another ear infection?
There are a few steps you can take to make it less most likely your child will get recurring ear infections. (The first couple of are particularly intended for infants.)
- Breastfeed for at least the first six months. Breast milk supplies the antibodies against ear infections.
When feeding your baby, hold him so his head is higher than the rest of his body. Babies fed while they’re lying down are most likely to develop AOM.
- Infants who use pacifiers after 6 months of age are likewise somewhat more likely to establish ear infections, so think about doing without if your baby is prone to AOM.
- Keep your child far from tobacco smoke since exposure to smoke raises his risk of infection. Make your home a smoke-free environment, and keep your child out of smoky places.
- Keep washing your hands. Although ear infections aren’t contagious, the respiratory infections that lead to them are. So keep your child’s hands clean, and keep away from people with breathing infections whenever possible.
- Ensure your child’s vaccinations are up to date. The pneumococcal vaccine has been revealed to minimize the number of ear infections a child gets. Once he’s 6 months old, a yearly flu shot can assist avoid AOM that frequently develops after a bout with the flu.
- Consider ear tubes. This guidance is questionable, however the surgical path might be appropriate if your child has recurring ear infections. That’s since the consistent presence of fluid in the ears makes him more prone not just to ear infections but likewise to hearing loss. And hearing issues can hinder language development.
The procedure to implant ear tubes is called a myringotomy or tympanostomy, and it’s done using basic anesthesia. An otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) inserts a little tube through a small incision in the eardrum. This tube launches pressure and acts as a vent, letting air in and fluid out so bacteria can’t flourish.
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