If a normal Ear Infection is gut-wrenching, then what if your toddler gets chronic or recurrent ear infection that does not go easily! If ear infection keeps coming back in your children, nothing is more excruciating than that. In case your child gets three episodes in six months or four in a year, then he/she has got a case of chronic ear infection. This blog will highlight some of the real facts about chronic ear infections in children along with its types and symptoms, and how to deal with it. Let’s put a flash!
What exactly is an Ear Infection in children?
An Ear Infection is said to be an inflammation of the middle ear in children that is usually caused by the attack of a bacteria, which occurs when fluid formulates behind the eardrum. Children are more prone to such kind of infections as compared to adults. Ear Infection, in medical terms, is stated as an Otitis media (OM).
Types and Symptoms of Ear Infection in Children
There are three main types of ear infections, and each of them carries a different combination of symptoms.
⮚ Acute Otitis Media: It is the most common Ear Infection in which parts of the middle ear gets infected in a way that fluid traps behind the eardrum which eventually causes pain, commonly known as earache. This results in a mild fever in children and it usually develops along with cold and upper respiratory infections.
⮚ Otitis Media with Effusion: It occurs when an Ear Infection has gone but fluid remains trapped behind the eardrum. Your toddler might not have any symptoms or can experience fullness in the ear or decreased hearing and but an experienced ENT specialist with his special instruments may be able to see the fluid present behind the eardrum or may advice for a hearing test called tympanometry which can detect fluid behind the ear drum
⮚ Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion: This conditions occurs in your child when a fluid stays in the middle ear for a very longer time and returns over and over again. It happens even when there is no infection. Chronic Otitis Media with effusion makes it difficult for the toddlers to combat new infections and the most severe outcome of this is that it affects their hearing.
The child characterises with cranky mood, runny nose, mild fever, twitching on the ear, fussiness, fluid draining out of ear, clumsiness, trouble hearing, loss of appetite as well as difficulty in sleeping. But, this is really important to know how to deal with it when your toddler keeps getting ear infection after ear infection.
What causes an ear infection in Children
An Ear Infection is usually caused by the bacteria and initiates when a child has sore throat, cold or other upper respiratory infections. In case, upper respiratory tract infection is bacterial, then it spreads to the middle ear. If it is caused by a Virus like cold, bacteria may be drawn to microbe-friendly environment and goes into middle ear as a secondary infection. Due to the infection, Fluid formulates and accumulates behind the ear drum.
Eustachian tubes in children are small and more levelled as compared to adults which makes it difficult for the fluid to drain out of the ear. Also, child’s immune system is not that strong as it is in the developing state and makes it difficult for children to fight infections. Adenoids, most of the times, respond to bacteria that passes through nose and mouth. Bacteria gets trapped in the adenoids causing a chronic infection and which eventually passes on to the Eustachian tubes and the middle ear.
How to treat chronic or recurrent Ear Infections in children?
An expert ENT specialist knows how to treat a chronic middle ear Infection in your children effectively. Every ENT specialist boasts different standards of treatment. The very first line of treatment when a toddler has an earache is to wait and watch or give antibiotics.
If ear infection persists after antibiotics, affecting the hearing of the child,then ENT specialist suggests surgically creating a slit like opening over the tympanic membrane(Myringotomy) and draining fluid from the ear as well as inserting ear tubes (Grommet or Ventilation tube) to ventilate the area in order to normalize the pressure in the middle ear. After twelve months, the tubes usually fall out on their own.
Another treatment an ENT specialist opts for is removing adenoid(Adenoidectomy). Adenoid are the lymphoid tissues situated at the back of the nose in the upper part of throat which blocks Eustachian tubes leading to accumulation of fluid behind the ear drum. But before, proceeding for this, it is necessary to discuss the pros and cons of the treatment to be done.
How to prevent Ear Infections in babies?
⮚ The most appropriate way to prevent ear infections in babies is to minimize the risk factors linked with them.
⮚ Vaccination against Flu. Make sure your child gets influenza or flu vaccine every year.
⮚ Vaccinate your child with 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13). It protects against various types of bacterial infections.
⮚ Keep your child away from the cigarette smokers. Smoke promotes ear infections in toddlers.
⮚ Keep your child away from the infected or sick children.
If you too are upset that there is the case of chronic ear infection in your child and you are looking for solutions, then Dr. Muddazir Ibrahim, an experienced ENT professional is there for you with his ultra-modern technologies and treatment. You will be suggested genuine and most effective solutions.
Contact now and fix an appointment to get best services immediately!