- Kids Health
Earache Pain Relief for Children
Ear Infections are Extremely Common in Children
Ever since I can remember the one thing that was consistent in my son's life as he was growing up was ear infections and the earache that came along with it.
From an early age I was always leaving work early to pick him up due to a flare up. We received some relief after the age of 5 when he had his tonsils and adenoids removed. But even later on in life he continued to get earaches once in a while. Now as a grown man he doesn't have the discomfort but with new little ones in his life I am sure there will be continued problems in these areas.
Ear infections and earaches a lot of times come along with runny-noses and the common cold or flu. The most recent research stated on WebMD is that kids get an ear infection 61% of the time when having a cold.
A doctor can tell if a child has an ear infection by viewing the ear through an otoscope. They can tell if an ear is infected if it looks red and swollen. The tube that connects the middle ear to the throat can be lined with mucus just like the throat and nose. Colds, flu, and even allergies can irritate this tube and cause the lining to this passageway to become swollen and infected.
When fluid builds up in the ear it can become blocked and this then creates the perfect area for bacteria and viruses hang around and cause an infection.
Recognizing and Ear Infection
One of the main symptoms of an ear infection in a child is extreme piercing pain in the ear. This causes them great discomfort and the inability to get rest. Sometimes the pain may get worse when lying down, this again makes it difficult to sleep.
Some of the other symptoms include:
- Trouble hearing
- Fluid draining from ears
- Dizzy feeling
It maybe more difficult to identify an ear infection in a baby. Since they are too young to tell you what is wrong with them. In babies watch for them to tug or pull or their ear, being irritated or cranky, not being able to sleep, and loss of appetite. They may also push their bottle away since the ear pressure makes it hard to swallow.
Ear Drops for Kids
Ear Infection Home Care
There are many proven treatments for ear infections including antibiotics that help bacterial infections prescribed from the doctor but when time and money does not allow for these solutions here are a few alternatives.
Your immune system typically takes some time to fight of ear infections. Some steps you can take to help it along is to apply a warm washcloth to the ear can sooth the pain temporarily. There are also over the counter ear drops that may work but you should check with the pharmacy or your doctor first before using these in children. Over the counter pain and fever reducers for kids such as ibuprofen can relief the pain but remember not to give aspirin to children.
Long term, recurrent chronic ear infections in children can cause complications. Including hearing loss and speech problems. A doctor may order a hearing test if a child suffers from long term ear infections.
Other options doctors may consider are ear tubes for fluid that just does not go away. Surgery to remove adenoids that can be enlarged due to infections.
Since the common cold is the biggest cause of ear infections the best way to prevent ear problems is to teach your child to wash their hands. Frequent and meticulous hand washing is a necessity for all of us. Also encourage your children to avoid second hand smoke, eat healthy meals, get plenty of sleep, keeping up on their vaccinations and staying healthy.