Ear infections, also known as otitis media, are extremely common in babies and children. In fact, according to one review, “Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common diagnosis in childhood acute sick visits. By three years of age, 50% to 85% of children will have at least one episode of AOM.”
If your child is very young, they will not be able to communicate with you that they’re experiencing ear discomfort, which is why it’s important to look out for the signs. We review how to know if your baby has an ear infection below.
They’re Tugging on Their Ears
One of the most common signs of an ear infection is tugging on the ears, as this can help alleviate pain and discomfort. If your baby is under the age of one, they may hit their ear because they have trouble connecting their pain to their ears.
They’re Having Trouble Sleeping
Sleep problems can be attributed to a lot of things, including an ear infection. They may not even want to lie down, because this shifts pressure in the middle ear.
They Have Drainage from the Ears
Clear or cloudy drainage from the ear is one of the surest signs of an ear infection. If the drainage is yellow or bloody, it could be a sign the eardrum has ruptured. It’s important to bring your child to an expert at Albany ENT & Allergy Services if you suspect a ruptured eardrum so it can be treated.
They’re Fussier than Usual
Pain and pressure from an ear infection can make your child fussy or cry more often.
They Seem to Have Trouble Hearing
If your child isn’t responding to their name or startling noises, this can be a sign they have an ear infection that is causing conductive hearing loss. With prompt treatment, there should be no lasting damage to their hearing.
They Have a Fever
A fever can be attributed to many illnesses, but if your baby is also exhibiting the symptoms listed above, this is a measurable sign they may have an ear infection.
Treatment for an Ear Infection
While some doctors take a wait-and-see approach to ear infections, in many cases, antibiotics are prescribed that you can pick up at Lincoln Pharmacy. In the meantime, you can also manage symptoms with over-the-counter pain relievers for babies.
For more information about pediatric ear infections or to schedule an appointment, call Albany ENT & Allergy Services today.