An ear infection means you have some type of bacteria or virus multiplying in you ear. There are two types of ear infections, otitis media and otitis externa, aka swimmer’s ear. Otitis is a general term used for ear infection or inflammation.
Of the two types of ear infections, otitis media is the most common cause for a child’s ear to hurt. This type of infection growth is behind your eardrum. Whereas, otitis externa is an infection of the thin skin layer in your ear canal.
One of the primary causes for the media type ear infection is blockage of the eustachian tube, which allows for fluid build up and germs to multiply. And because a child or infant tubes are so small, they tend to clog easier. You can use an electronic ear monitor, such as EarCheck, to detect if fluid is accumulating.
If your child is too young to talk, then some ear hurts signs of an infection are:
- tugging at ear
- excessive crying
- sleeping troubles
- irritable and fussy
- difficulty balancing
- drainage from the ear
- no respond because can’t hear
Swimmer’s ear infection is usually caused by a bacteria due to situations like:
- rash caused by sensitivity to hair products, jewelry
- excess moisture ~ swimming, trapped water, humid weather
- break or abrasion from scratching ~ cotton swab, other objects
Ear related symptoms from both types of ear infections include:
- ear pain
- itchy ear
- hearing loss
- ear noise, buzzing
- pussy ear drainage
- ear swollen and red
- full, pressure feeling in ear
- lymph node swelling in your neck
Due to the infection you may experience non ear related symptoms as well, like:
And an ear infection may occur simultaneously with the common cold or shortly after its symptoms have subsided.
Ear infection treatment may involve:
Sometimes, ear infections clear up without much more than pain relief when your ear hurts. But never give aspirin to a child.
Chronic ear infections can cause permanent damage.So, if a child has many ear infections in a short period, their health care provider may recommend insertion of tiny ear tubes to prevent fluid from building up behind the eardrum.