The ear is a vital organ that enables hearing and balance. It is responsible for receiving sound waves and transforming them into sounds that make sense to humans. Because of the function and structure of the ear, it is much more susceptible to infections, especially among babies and toddlers. The National Institutes of Health established that five out of six kids are likely to get an illness of the ear before their third birthday. It is best to seek pediatric ENT Surprise care when your kid has such a health issue and others. That is because the kind of care your toddler will need differs from that of an adult.
Why kids are prone to ear infections
Kids are highly susceptible to ear infections than you or other adults because their Eustachian tubes are shorter and smaller. The organ links the middle ears to the throat’s back, which is essential for draining excess secretions and fluids from the middle ear. Also, that part of the ear helps ventilate the middle ear, balance air pressure on both sides of the eardrum, and protect the middle ear from harmful bacteria.
Because your kid’s Eustachian tubes are shorter and smaller, it becomes challenging to drain secretions out of the ear, including under normal conditions. The blockage or swelling of this part of the ear because of excess production of mucus from a cold or another breathing illness makes draining fluids even harder.
Moreover, your kid is more likely to get an ear infection because the immune system is underdeveloped and thus not better prepared to safeguard against infections.
Diagnosis of middle ear infection in kids
When you go to the pediatrician’s office to treat an ear infection, the health expert will request that you provide information about the kid’s general health. For instance, the doctor may want to find out if the child is experiencing sleeping difficulty, fever, a cold, sore throat, fluid draining from the ear, or rubbing or pulling the ear.
The doctor will examine the eardrum to confirm signs of an ear infection. Various diagnostic procedures assist in exploring a disorder of the eardrum.
For instance, tympanometry is a test that measures the eardrum’s movement and pressure. Another procedure involves determining how much sound reflects from the eardrum.
Treatment for acute ear infection
Your pediatrician often will prescribe pain and fever relief medications for your child. Sometimes, antibiotics may also be needed, especially if the kid feels unwell and feverish. However, ensure you give your child antibiotics as prescribed.
Tips for preventing ear infections in children
- Ensure the vaccination of your child is up to date. Generally, a child that has benefitted from vaccinations has less risk of ear infections because the body’s immunity becomes more robust and healthier.
- Breastfeed your baby for at least the first six months after birth. Your breast milk comes with antibodies that can prevent infections and other illnesses.
- Keep your child away from sick kids or adults.
- Avoid exposing your kid to sources of smoke, including smoking.
- Always ensure your hands are thoroughly clean before touching or carrying your child.
Contact Oasis Ear, Nose, and Throat today for specialist treatment of your child, depending on the age and the underlying health problem.