Middle ear infections are one of the most common childhood illnesses diagnosed in the United States. By the time they reach 3 years old, most children will have had at least one ear infection.
Our doctor performs an evaluation and diagnosis of ear infections for patients in our region.
What is an ear infection?
A middle ear infection occurs when fluid backs up and germs and bacteria enter the middle ear. The fluid backup causes the ear pain.
What are the signs and symptoms of an ear infection?
The signs and symptoms of a middle ear infection can include earaches or ear pain. Younger children may cry more than is normal for them and act irritable. Other symptoms may include headaches, trouble sleeping, and tugging at the ear.
Because fluid buildup in the middle ear may block sound, temporary hearing difficulties may occur. Many parents will notice their child talks louder, listens to the television at a high volume, doesn’t respond to soft sounds, or teachers may notice the child is inattentive at school.
Ear infections are commonly associated with upper respiratory tract infections, a cough or runny or stuffy nose may be associated.
How do you diagnose and treat an ear infection?
Most middle ear infections will often clear up without treatment within 2 or 3 days. In other cases it’s important to come in and see our doctor. After our doctor performs a physical exam and takes your medical history, your ears will be examined with an otoscope to look at your eardrum. Our doctor will then consider the best treatment which may include antibiotics.