The summer holidays are here!
Next to the common cold, ear infections are the most common illness for children. The most painful of these infections if known medically as otitis media, which is bound to affect every child at least once in their childhood.
It is especially common for babies and toddlers, particularly those attending childcare. Ear aches are also common in the summer months and that’s why the infection is sometimes referred to as ‘swimmer’s ear’.
What is an ear infection?
Ear infections occur when fluid gets trapped inside the middle of the ear and becomes infected due to a virus or bacteria. They are more common in kids as their eustachian tubes are shorter and narrower, which makes them more prone to blockages.
The symptoms of an ear infection can range from mild to severe in the following forms:
- The fluid can push on the ear drum and cause ear pain
- Lying down, chewing or sucking could also cause pressure changes and pain in the middle ear
- If the pressure is too great, the ear drum will rupture and release the pressure and relieve pain.
How to treat an ear infection
There are several methods that can be used to treat ear infections, many of which will also be encouraged by a home doctor. These methods include:
- Painkillers: such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
- Antibiotics: if prescribed, to help clear the infection
- Professional cleaning of the ear canal
- Antifungal preparations for fungal infections
- Surgery: if an infection remains, surgery may be required.
If your child may be suffering for an ear infection, consult your GP or after-hours doctor for more information.