Are you concerned that your son or daughter may have an ear infection? Our Kennesaw, GA, pediatrician, Dr. Kola Ologunja of Spectrum Pediatric Group, shares information on this common type of infection.
What are the signs of an ear infection?
Pain is one of the chief symptoms of an ear infection. If your child complains that their ears hurt, suspect an ear infection. Although your baby can't complain about ear pain, they may display a few common ear infection signs, such as:
- Pulling on the ears
- Crying often
- Difficulty sleeping due to increased pain when lying flat
- Loss of appetite
Fever can be a symptom of an ear infection, although infections can sometimes occur without a fever. If your child does have a fever, it may be 100F or higher. Older children may have trouble sleeping, too, and may be very irritable. An ear infection may dull your child's hearing and may cause balance issues. In some cases, you may also see fluid draining from an ear.
When should I make an appointment for my child?
Call our Kennesaw office if your child has had pain for at least a day or if the pain is steadily getting worse and isn't helped by over-the-counter pain medication. It's also important to call us if your child's fever is 101 or higher or blood or pus drains from the ear.
Don't wait 24 hours to call if your child has a fever of 104F or higher, is in severe pain, has an immune system condition, is an infant, or if the area behind the ear looks red or swollen.
How are ear infections treated?
You've probably heard that prescribing antibiotics when they're not really needed can lead to antibiotic resistance. To prevent that problem, doctors have adopted a "wait and see" approach to prescribing antibiotics for ear infections. If the symptoms are caused by a virus, they'll usually start to improve in a few days. Soothing ear drops and over-the-counter pain medication can be very helpful in reducing symptoms. When the pain and other symptoms don't go away or worsen, your child will probably need antibiotics.
Let us know if you're concerned about your child's ears. Call our Kennesaw, GA, pediatrician, Dr. Ologunja of Spectrum Pediatric Group, at (770) 966-0749 to make an appointment for your son or daughter.