All parents have seen their child suffer from an ear infection — but when is it considered a chronic issue? If your child has recurring ear infections, it might be time to call your doctor to learn more about chronic ear infections.
Symptoms of Chronic Ear Infections vs. Acute Ear Infections
Because ear infections are normal in children, it can be hard to differentiate between chronic and acute ear infections. There are a few symptoms that might lead you to believe your child is suffering from chronic ear infections:
- Pressure in one or both of the ears that comes and goes
- Low-grade fever that won’t break
- Fluid or pus draining from the ear
- Temporary hearing loss
- Fussiness, especially when going to sleep Pulling or tugging on the ear that’s causing pain
Why Does My Child Get Ear Infections so Often?
In most cases, chronic ear infections are caused by the Eustachian tube being too narrow or blocked. Even though all children have narrower Eustachian tubes, some might have tubes that are constantly swollen or too narrow to stabilize the pressure between the middle ear.
Treatment Options for Chronic Ear Infections
The board-certified physicians at (office name) can help your child find relief from chronic ear infections. Schedule an appointment with us to find out which of the following treatment options is right for you:
- Antibiotics. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat antibiotics. To determine the kind of antibiotic that will treat the infection quickly, your physician will probably take a sample of the fluid.
- Ear Drops. Ear drops or a diluted vinegar solution might be used if there is a hole in the eardrum
- Surgery. If a child isn’t responding to medications, surgery might be necessary. Your doctor will surgically insert a small tube through the eardrum, connecting the middle ear and the outer ear. This will help fluid drain and lessen the symptoms of ear infections.
- Vaccines. Speak with one of our physicians about the conjugate pneumococcal vaccine which fights against some of the bacteria that cause ear infections.
If left untreated, ear infections can cause permanent hearing loss, damage to the ear bones, damage to the balance function in the ear, and even facial paralysis.
Call our office at (912) 355-2335 to speak to Dr. Oliver about chronic ear infections.