Preventing an Ear Infection

Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria when fluid buildup behind the eardrum. Children have a greater chance of having an ear infection than adults. According to NIDCD( National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. Ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their children to a doctor. Cleaning the ear canal too often, too forcefully, or with a cotton swab, bobby pin, or sharp fingernail can cause irritation or injury to the ear

How to tell if you or your child has an ear infection?

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
    Tugging or pulling at an ear
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Crying more than usual (fussiness and crying)
  • Acting more irritable than usual
  • Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite Ear pain
  • Diminished hearing

Preventing an ear infection

  • Wash hands frequently. This prevents the spread of germs and help keep children from catching a cold or the flu
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke as this increase the likelihood of an ear infection
  • Never put your baby down for a nap, or for the night, with a feeding bottle
  • For children, don’t allow them around other sick children. This will significantly reduce their exposure.

The goal of treatment of ear infection for most doctors is to rid the middle ear of infection before more serious complications set in. Treatment usually involves eliminating the causes of the ear infection and killing any invading bacteria in the Eustachian tube. If you need the attention of a health care provider, please consult your primary care provider. If your primary care doctor is unavailable, please visit Preferred Urgent Care immediate; no appointment necessary.

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