More than 80% of children develop at least one ear infection by the time they’re three years old. Parents are all too aware of the pain caused by ear infections, and they can count on Catherine Meli, MD and Naheed Rahmet, MD at Seashore Pediatrics to carefully examine their child, determine the severity of their ear infection, and recommend the best way to manage the problem. As soon as you suspect your child has an ear infection, call the office in Wall Township, New Jersey, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
Ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses, often the same viruses that cause the common cold. These microorganisms travel to the middle ear through the canal that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat (the eustachian tube).
In children, the eustachian tube is still developing, so it’s shorter and more horizontal than it will be when they get older. This means that bacteria and viruses can easily get into the ear, where they cause inflammation and infection.
Pain is the main symptom that occurs as fluids build up and press against your child’s eardrum. In babies and children who haven’t begun to talk, you’ll see other signs that your child is in pain.
They may cry more than usual and have trouble sleeping. You may notice they seem to have a hard time hearing. Young children also tend to pull at the painful ear.
If too much fluid accumulates, it may drain from the ear or rupture the eardrum. When that happens, your child may develop symptoms like nausea, dizziness, or ringing in the ear.
Parents are sometimes surprised when the doctors at Seashore Pediatrics recommend taking a wait-and-see approach. Of course, they recommend ways to relieve your child’s pain. They’ll also want to examine your child to determine the severity of the infection and rule out any other problems.
In some cases, immediate medication may be needed. Otherwise, your doctor at Seashore Pediatrics may ask you to watch for about 48-72 hours before recommending medications and here’s why: Children heal just as well from an ear infection whether they take medication or not. Additionally, antibiotics won’t help if the infection is due to a virus.
The team at Seashore Pediatrics recommend these tips to help prevent ear infections:
When you suspect your child has an ear infection, call Seashore Pediatrics or book an appointment online.