Let’s talk about ear pain. There are two main kinds of ear pain that will make you need to bring your child into the office. There’s outer ear infections in the ear canal, and then there are middle ear infections deep inside.
You can tell the difference because if your child has an infection in their ear canal that hurts, it hurts just to touch it and they won’t want you anywhere near their ear. You need to give them Motrin or Tylenol and call the office for an appointment.
If they have ear pain that’s deeper inside the ear canal and it’s not hurting, they still have an infection – it’s just down inside the middle ear. You still need to give Motrin or Tylenol and then call the office for an appointment.
For more details, look at the information on the page below this video or call our office if you have questions.
Ear pain can be caused from teething, inflammation of the outer ear (commonly referred to as Swimmer’s Ear), or an infection of the middle ear. The only way to determine the cause of your child’s ear pain is for a provider to look in the ear.
Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear may include redness of the outer ear, pain and/or itching in the ear, swollen ear canal, drainage from the ear, and hearing loss.
Infections of the middle ear are typically painful, making it hard for your child to eat and sleep. Children may also rub or pull at their ears, be irritable, or develop a fever.
Give your child Tylenol or Motrin based on your child’s age and weight and call the office for an appointment with one of our providers.
Steps you can take to protect little ears from infection include:
- Help children stay healthy – Encourage frequent handwashing and keep them away from others who are sick.
- Stay up to date on immunizations – The infant pneumococcal vaccine helps lower the risk for ear infections. An annual flu vaccine for children over 6 months of age can also help.
- Don’t allow children to drink from bottles or cups while lying down – This lets fluids and germs flow into the middle ear.
- Keep children away from cigarette smoke. The fumes and smoke increase a child’s risk for fluid buildup and infection in the ear.