Most common in children under the age of six, ear infections may involve the patient experiencing pain on the side of their head as well as a short temper. Since they may not know the words to describe how they are feeling and what is wrong, your child may keep tugging at their ear in order to convey that they are experiencing discomfort. An ear infection can go on for several days before symptoms become present. If you suspect your child is suffering from an ear infection, take them to a walk-in urgent care center for diagnosis and treatment.
Causes of Ear Infections
An ear infection forms in the Eustachian tube under the middle ear. The tube is shorter and lays horizontal in a child’s ear, expanding as the child grows and the organs continue to develop. When the tube is positioned horizontally, it is more difficult for it to drain fluid from the eardrum when the child has a cold or an allergic reaction. When the Eustachian tube swells due to illness fluid will become trapped and form bacteria, which will cause infection.
Symptoms of Ear Infections
There are several ways you will be able to tell that your child has an ear infection. At the onset of the infection, your child may persistently tug or scratch at their ear for several days before developing a mild fever. Your child may not be able to hear you when you speak in softer voices at home or at school and lose their appetite. When left untreated, ear infections can often lead to vomiting and problems sleeping.
How Can I Prevent Ear Infections?
There are several steps you can take to prevent your child from forming ear infections. If your child has allergies, watch them carefully when known allergens are present in case of a reaction. Make sure they are treated immediately with allergy medication and an urgent care visit to prevent fluid buildup in the ears. Another environmental factor that can lead to fluid buildup is cigarette smoke. If you are a smoker, avoid smoking near the child to keep their ears clear of blockages. Encourage thorough hand washing at an early age to prevent ear infections as well as common viruses like the cold or flu. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to reduce symptoms until the infection is cured.
Does your child have symptoms of an ear infection? Visit AFC Urgent Care in West Orange for diagnosis and treatment.