Most babies have an ear infection before they even turn one, five out of six kids will have an ear infection before they reach 1 year mark. You should feel lucky if you never experienced an ear infection in infants. I want to help you stay that lucky and keep your baby healthy.
Why Ear Infections Happen
Most babies ear infections happen after your baby had a cold, sore throat, or any upper respiratory infections.
Ear infections could be caused by a bacterial infection or a viral infection, both of these could be right after your baby passed a cold.
They both make a secondary infection, which leads to fluids building up in babies ears right behind the ear drum, if not caught in time the virus will spread on nearby ear parts.
Why children are more likely to get ear infection?
- Babies body is smaller and so are all of their organs including the Eustachian Tubes which help our ear drums drain liquids from our ears. Once your baby get sick and the Eustachian tubes get swollen, the fluid are not being drained.
- Your baby doesn’t have a fully developed immune system, which makes it harder to fights viruses and diseases.
- Your baby immune system is also responsible for adenoids respond to bacterial traffic in your babies body. The bacteria could get stuck in your babies adenoids and passed on to the middle ear, where the ear drum is located.
How can a doctor tell if it’s an ear infection?
Their is three ways your babies pediatric will use to tell if your baby has an ear infection.
- Using a horoscope – your pediatrics will look inside the ear using the horoscope and see your babies ear drum, if the ear drum is infected it will be red and bulging.
- Pneumatic horoscope – blowing puffs of air into your babies ear the pediatric could say if their is an ear infection, the ear drum is going to barely be showing signs of movement back and forth.
- Tympanometry – this method is used only if the previous two were a failure. With sound tunes and air pressure your pediatric will test the flexibility of your babies ear drum.
Signs Of An Ear Infection
Baby ears are really sensitive and easily accessible to ear infections. Knowing signs of an ear infection and being able to catch it in time is our job. Your baby can’t talk to you about what’s hurting them, we need to know when they are telling us.
- Tugging or bothering ears is the first sign of an ear infection in kids
- Not laying on a certain ear or crying when being put into a laying position
- Having trouble sleeping
- Drainage from an ear
- Crying more than usual
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of balance
- Reduced appetite
What Are The Most Common Ear Infection
Their is different kinds of ear infection, I want to talk to you about the most common ones in children.
- Acute otitis media – An ear infection in which liquid is trapped behind an ear drum, which is red and swollen.
- Otitis media with effusion – This type of ear infection happens if their is still fluids left behind the ear drum.
- Chronic otitis media with effusion – Happens when the fluid is always coming back over and over, or remains in the middle ear for a long period of time, this type of ear infection could damage your babies hearing.
How To Treat Ear Infection
When your visit your doctor and he won’t notice anything serious or can’t be definite with your child ear infection, he could ask you to wait 2 or 3 days and see if the ear infection will pass on its own.
Your child doctor could also prescribe you antibiotic (amoxicillin) to be taken for 10 days at maximum and 7 days at minimum. The doctor can also tell you to buy over the counter medicine for fever and pain, such as: ibuprofen or ear drops.
Why would a doctor not give my child treatment?
Not every ear infection needs antibiotics, some ear infections could pass on their own without any medical help. Also, not every ear pain is an ear infection.
You need to always make sure your baby takes all of it’s medication and every day as told by a doctor. Even if your baby is feeling better don’t stop the medicine, it can come back and it will be worst.
Go to your follow up visit to make sure the ear infection is gone.
How long does it take to help?
Your little babies ears should feel better with in 2 or 3 days, if your baby is still hurting after 3 days contact your doctor for a new prescription.
Once your babies ear infection passes it could take up to 6 weeks for all fluids to leave your babies ears.
What if an ear infection keeps coming back?
Even after treatment your babies ear infection could comeback, a coming back ear infection needs a different treatment.
First your doctor will want to see if the ear infection will get better on its own in several months.
In those couple months your doctor will watch your baby, and will prescribe different antibiotics. After the antibiotics your doctor might recommend a surgical procedure Bilateral Myringotomy and Tubes (BM-T).
The other way of treating a coming back ear infection is by removing the adenoids, which will help stop spreading bacteria.
What Precautions To Take
Even tho an ear infections can happen with any baby, you can take precaution to minimize the risk of an ear infection.
- Keep your baby away from sick children as much as possible
- Never put your baby down for a night or nap, with a bottle
- Avoid exposing your baby to second hand smoking
- Wash hands frequently, to prevent germs from spreading
- Keep your baby from getting a cold or a flue
- Vaccinate your child
- Don’t let water get into your infants ears at early age
Even tho ear infections are common among children, I hope that you and your baby will never have to experience an ear infection. Baby ears are gentle and their hearing is always on the line with ear infections.
I never had any personal experience with ear infection. Angel never had any ear infections and I hope it will stay that way.
Did you ever experience baby ear infections? How did you notice it? Please leave an answer in the comments to help all the moms and dads out there.