Pediatric Ear Infections
If your child is suffering from the pain and discomfort that is brought on by an ear infection, come to Olivero Pediatrics today to get the treatment they need. Our kind and caring staff offer fast and friendly care to help put your child at ease. Call our office for more information or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Port Matilda PA, Waddle, PA, Julian PA, State College PA, Bellefonte PA, Pennsylvania Furnace PA and Pine Grove Mills PA.
Ear infections are a common condition that affect the lives of millions of people every year. Some people are more prone to ear infections and experience repeated infections. In any case, it is important to receive treatment for ear infections so that the infection does not spread.
How does a child get an ear infection?
When your child is stuffed up with a common cold, most of the mucus drains from their nose into the throat. The mucus that does not drain gets backed up behind what’s called the tympanic membrane or eardrum, which is a little window that opens into the middle ear.
The eustachian tubes are responsible for draining the fluid that ends up in this tricky spot into the throat, but that’s not always what happens. Because kids’ immune systems and ears are immature, they become more susceptible to infections.
The main reason little ones are afflicted with ear troubles is due to anatomy. Their eustachian tubes are shorter than in a full-grown adult, and they tend to be oriented more horizontally, so it’s harder for fluid to drain out. Pre-existing bacteria make their way into that fluid and breed.
Do pediatricians treat ear infections?
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons why parents bring their little ones to the doctor.
An ear infection, or otitis media, is the result of bacteria and fluid building up in the middle ear. Adults can get ear infections, but they are much more rampant in children. This is because a child’s eustachian tubes (the part of the ear that drains fluid) are smaller and nearly horizontal. In contrast, an adult’s eustachian tubes are angled towards the ground. As a result, bacteria and fluid can easily accumulate in a child’s tubes, resulting in an infection.
Ear infections in children typically come with some telltale signs. Many parents report the following symptoms in their children when they visit our pediatricians.
- Pulling at the ears
- Fussiness or crying
- Broken sleep
- Difficulty hearing
- Loss of balance
At what point should my child see a doctor for an ear infection?
You may want to wait for a day or two if your only symptom is an earache as it can often resolve on its own without the help of antibiotics. If the pain isn’t getting better or is getting progressively worse and you’re running a fever, you should visit your doctor right away. You should seek medical attention if there is fluid draining from your ear or if you’re having trouble hearing.
During your appointment, your doctor will listen as you describe your symptoms and will get your medical history. They’ll also use an otoscope to get a detailed look at your outer ear and your eardrum.
To check the health of your ear, doctors will use an otoscope, a handheld device with a light and magnifying lens. A pneumatic otoscope can emit a puff of air in the ear.
When air is pushed against your eardrum, the way the eardrum reacts can help diagnose the problem. If the eardrum moves easily, you may not have a middle ear infection, or at least it may not be serious. When fluid presses against the eardrum from the inside it often prohibits the eardrum from moving.
Tympanometry is another test used to diagnose and evaluate a possible ear infection. It’s used to evaluate how well your ear is working. If it appears that an infection has caused some hearing loss, a simple hearing test may also be performed.
If you or someone you know has an ear infection, come to Olivero Pediatrics today! We have a great team of kind and caring professionals who have ample experience in treating ear infections. Contact our office to talk with an expert today. To schedule an appointment at our clinic, visit us online or give us a call!