Baby Ear Infections
One of the most common infections in children between six months and two years is a middle-ear infection called otitis media.
Viral infection can cause baby ear infection
Often acute otitis media happens due to a complication of a viral infection but there can also be other causes. Inflammation obstructs the eustachian tube and hampers the passage of air through it. A sticky liquid collects in the middle ear and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria causing the middle ear infection. An accumulation of fluid may occur which causes a pressure build up and severe pain.
Symptoms of ear infection
There can be several signs and symptoms indicating your baby might have an ear infection and some of these are listed below. Always seek advice from your healthcare professional if you think your baby may have an ear infection. Some of the symptoms listed below may also be an indication something else is wrong so it’s never safe to self-diagnose.
- Tugging at the ear – If your baby is pulling or tugging at his ear it can be a sign of ear trouble but not always. He would be irritable as well.
- Foul smell – The fluid drainage inside the ear may have a foul odour. This drainage is different from normal ear wax. Its colour may be orange-yellow or reddish brown.
- Fever and cold – If your baby has a fever and a cold along with hearing troubles and is restless in their sleep, they may be suffering from an ear infection. In some cases appetite might also decrease.
Treatment and prevention
An ear infection often resolves with no treatment. The fluid flows from the ear when the drum has perforated. Your baby usually feels better after this and the drum heals. Glue ear can result if fluid remains in the ear canal. The blocked canal can cause hearing problems and speech delay.
Clear the ear, nose and throat – Always maintain good ear hygiene and keeping your baby’s nose and throat clear when your baby has a cold can help. Using humidifiers and normal saline in the nasal passages as well as drinking plenty of fluid can help.
Ear hygiene – Ear infections can be prevented by ensuring proper ear hygiene. Breastfeeding can help since it boosts the immune system which in turn helps in preventing ear infections.
Consult the doctor – Consult your doctor to ensure the right care and treatment if you suspect your baby has an ear infection.
There is no need to worry if your baby gets an ear infection. Most resolve with good hygiene management but it may sometimes cause damage to the ear drum or result in long term hearing impairment from a condition called Glue Ear.
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