Most people would have faced the problem of ear infection in their childhood days. The parents feel very helpless when they see their kids suffer in pain. Knowing the symptoms of the ear infection can be helpful in diagnosing the problem and seeking the medical help at the right time. There is nothing to be panic as there are lots of cures available like antibiotics, pipes through the ear etc.
What is middle ear infection ? How does it occur ?
The middle ear infection in children is usually preceded by a cold. This occurs most in the small children and reduces as they grow up.
To understand the occurrence of the infection, it’s important to have an idea of the structure of the ear. Within the external ear there is an ear canal that leads to the ear drum behind the middle ear. There are small bones that vibrate to produce the various sounds that we hear. There is long thin tube that Eustachian tube that connects to the throat and at the opening of the tube is the adenoids.
When the child is affected by cold the adenoids enlarge and block the Eustachian tubes. This results in fluid formation which collects in the middle ear cavity. The bacteria that reside in this cavity multiply and cause the infection and the pain.
Ear Infection Symptoms in Kids
Sometimes the infection would be present even without symptoms. Generally, the child my tug the ear (particularly infants), get cranky, whine and develop during sleep. They may have loss of appetite and diarrhea too.
Middle Ear Infection Treatment
- Antibiotics need to administered to kill the bacteria.
- Myringotomy: If there is fluid built up inside the ear and causes pain, then a hole would be drilled in the eardrum to release the pressure caused by the accumulation of fluids.
- If the above doesn’t cure, then plastic tubes may be inserted in the ear to drain the fluids. This has not proved very effective.
- If the fluid remains in the ear even after the infection is cleared, then it’s called as serous otitis and it’s a serious situation. Then plastic tubes should be inserted in the ear to drain the fluids and remove the adenoids as well.
When the child grows up the Eustachian tube also grows and doesn’t get blocked as often. So the occurrence of ear infection in children also reduces.