Ear infections are some of the most common ailments among children. In fact, an estimated five out of every six children will have an ear infection before their third birthday. Because ear infections are so common, it is helpful for parents to know more about them.
Keep in mind that there are no home remedies for an ear infection. We highly recommend a visit to Pediatric Partners, Augusta’s premier pediatric care center, if you suspect your child has an ear infection.
What is an ear infection?
An ear infection is a painful infection caused when bacteria move to the inner ear after a cold or upper respiratory infection. Fluid builds up behind the eardrum, and parts of the middle ear become infected and inflamed. This causes pain in the ear and can trigger a fever.
Why are children so prone to ear infections?
There are a couple of reasons children often wind up in the pediatric care center with an ear infection.
Eustachian tubes, which supply fresh air to the middle ear, drain fluid and keep air pressure at a steady level, are smaller and more level in children than adults. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out properly. When the fluid sits, it is prone to infection.
Children have not built up their immune systems yet. Adults tend to fight off small infections long before medical attention is needed, but children cannot.
The adenoids, a part of the immune system in your ear, respond to bacteria passing through the nose and mouth. Sometimes, bacteria get trapped, causing an infection that gets passed to the middle ear.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection
Anyone who can remember having an ear infection knows many of the common symptoms:
- A sharp stabbing pain with drainage from the ear
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- Muffled hearing
- Ear drainage
Many children, though, are too young to tell you how they feel, which is why it is important to look out for these symptoms in infants and toddlers:
- Tugging at the ear
- Poor sleep
- Irritability, restlessness
- Ear drainage
- Diminished appetite
- Crying at night when lying down
The only way to properly diagnose an ear infection is with a trip to a pediatric care center. The only way to properly treat an ear infection is with antibiotics, which must be prescribed by a physician. At Pediatric Partners of Augusta, “we speak kid,” which means we can accurately diagnose and treat ear infections in even the youngest babies.
We now have three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is located at 411 Town Park Blvd., the downtown Augusta office is located at 1303 D’Antignac Street, Suite 2600, and the new Grovetown office is located at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, please feel free to call the office at 706-854-2500, visit pedpartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page.