Almost every child will develop an ear infection at some point in their lives.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, roughly 90% of children get their first ear infection before they are three years old. In fact, the most common reason for doctor’s visits in young children is ear infection.
So what exactly causes ear infections in such young children? Let’s look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment of ear infections in babies in greater detail.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of ear infections in babies occur before they know how to talk.
With that said, there are numerous signs to look out for that could point to a potential ear infection. Chief among these are tugging at the ears, fussiness and crying, fluid draining from the ear, and problems with balance.
Babies, in particular, tend to develop a fever alongside an ear infection. A lack of sleep is another typical symptom of an ear infection.
Ear infections in babies can be caused by any number of factors. However, there are a handful that are much more common than others.
The most common cause is a bacteria or virus. Fluid builds up inside the child’s ear and is infected by the bacteria/virus. This then causes the related infection.
Ear infections commonly come after another form of infection. Colds and other upper respiratory infections are the most common.
It’s very important to seek medical attention as soon as you suspect your child might have an ear infection. Leave an infection to its own devices and it will almost certainly become more painful and serious.
Your doctor will diagnose the ear infection and then prescribe a special medication. The medication most often used is a type of antibiotic called Amoxicillin. The medication should clear up the symptoms within a few days.
A small number of children get ear infections on a regular basis. If your doctor deems that your child is getting them too frequently, surgery might be recommended.