One of the most common pediatric diagnoses is an ear infection in toddlers. As your baby starts crying and complaining a lot especially after a cold or a nasal infection you might want to consult a doctor for a possible case of an ear infection.
Babies are more prone to this form of infection because of their short, immature Eustachian tubes which allows fluid retention in the area, especially when their nasal passages are blocked due to a cold.
This can lead to a bacterial outbreak as the germs move from the back of the ear and multiply in the mucus there. The gradual formation of pus and inflammation of the middle ear canal causes a lot of distress to your baby.
The ear infection in kids whether it is bacterial or viral is accompanied by a lot of pain which may start out with a dull ache and grow into strong jabs of pain. Moreover this infection is characterized by the presence of inflamed red ears and constant discharge of pus and mucus.
During the time that the ear canal is blocked by the mucus, the hearing can be muffled and severely diminished. This ear infection usually follows a common cold and your child may seem to be increasingly crabby during this time.
He may tug at his ears in pain. In certain cases the infection may also be accompanied by low grade fever. Diarrhea and fussiness while eating are also some of the common symptoms of an ear infection in babies.
If you observe any of these symptoms then you should consult a doctor immediately who will in turn check the baby’s ears with an otoscope to diagnose a possible ear infection. Antibiotics such as amoxicillin are usually the prescribed course of treatment in this case. For pain relief the doctor may recommend warm compresses or anesthetic ear drops.
Preventing ear infections in babies can save your baby from the pain. Breastfeeding for around six months, keeping the baby’s nose clear during a cold and controlling allergies are some of the best preventive measures.
Make sure that your baby is kept away from cigarette smoke that can irritate its nasal system and ear tube. While this is a minor problem which can be resolved with proper care, ear infections can become a potential danger when left untreated. They can not only rupture your child’s eardrums but also cause a long term hearing impairment.