Ear Infection Season Is Here
When you think about winter, your thoughts may be centered around all the excitement of the holiday season. For kids, it can also be a painful time of year with an increased risk of ear infections. Children between the ages of six months and two years are more likely to suffer from ear infections during winter months due to the effects of cold and flu season. When fluid builds up in the middle ear, it can become trapped and quickly develop into an ear infection that needs medical attention.
Understand the symptoms
Winter months can be an ideal time to spread germs and catch a simple cold or possibly a respiratory tract infection. For children, an ear infection may start as a cold with a runny nose or a cough. It’s important to stay aware of any signs of an ear infection, especially if you have a young child who cannot communicate about having any pain. Some common signs are:
- Having a fever
- Rubbing or tugging of the ear
- Being unable to sleep or crying when lying down
- Eating less or being uninterested in food
- Showing signs of dizziness or imbalance
If these symptoms last more than two days or get worse, you should contact your doctor.
Diagnosis and treatment
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your child’s symptoms. Although it might be painful, each ear will need to be carefully examined for any redness or fluid inside the middle ear area. Some ear infections can go away on their own with the help of over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the infection is more severe.
Help prevent ear infections
If your child has already had an ear infection, you can take extra precautions to lessen the chances of a recurring infection. Winter is prime flu season, so make sure everyone over the age of six months is vaccinated in the fall.
- Wash hands often. Be sure to carefully wash throughout the day and before eating any meals or snacks.
- Ask your doctor about any vaccinations or medications, including those for seasonal allergies to help reduce the chances of another ear infection.
- Stay away from friends and family who show signs of being sick. Keep your child home from school with severe cold symptoms or a fever.
- Keep children away from smokers. Cigarette smoke and some types of air pollution can increase your child’s risk.
Midwest Express Clinic can provide a thorough examination if your child is showing symptoms of an ear infection. Our team of medical professionals offer diagnosis and treatment options for children of all ages. Visit us today if your need is immediate or schedule an appointment at a location near you.