Otitis media is an infection and inflammation of the middle ear. It is the second most frequent infection in children after a cold.
Ear infections can happen separately, or present with another infection such as a cold or sore throat
One or both ears can be affected.
Symptoms of otitis media
- Ear ache, pulling ears, crying in pain.
- It can be associated with a common cold therefore has runny nose symptoms before the infection appears.
- Buzzing in the ear and or a feeling of a blocked ear.
- Temporary reduced hearing in the affected ear.
- If the ear drum bursts, the appearance of a yellow liquid (pus) or a small amount of blood can be seen leaking from the ear.
- Tiredness, fever, headaches, sore throat and difficulties in sleeping can accompany otitis media.
- The use of cotton buds is not recommended because they can cause a perforation of the ear drums.
- Do not smoke: smoking is a risk factor
- Avoid exposure to loud noise
- Teach the child how to blow her noise; one nostril at a time. This helps to keep the ventilation tube from the ear to the nose clear
- Avoid the exposure to allergens...
Treatment: see your GP
- Do not lay your child on the side of the infected ear because this position will worsen the pain.
- Most ear infections are viral especially when associated with a cold. Therefore antibiotic treatment is reserved for bacterial infections, and not given if a viral infection is suspected.
- Give regular paracetamol for pain
- Keep your child's nose clean
- Avoid smoking
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