Ear infections are some of the most common illnesses in infants and children in the Salt Lake Valley. At ENT Clinic of Utah, ear, nose and throat specialists aim to provide acute ear pain relief as quickly as possible, as well as long-term therapies for recurring ear infection.
Ear Infection Symptoms
Ear infections tend to develop quickly in children. You may notice the following signs and symptoms in your child.
- Pain in just one ear
- Feeling a “fullness” or “heaviness” in the affected ear
- Reduced hearing
- Irritability, crying, or rubbing and tugging the ear (especially in infants who cannot verbalize their symptoms)
Take your child to see a doctor if the symptoms last for more than one day, or as soon as there are symptoms in a child six months of age or younger; if ear pain is severe; or if you observe any discharge from the ear.
Causes of Middle Ear Infection
Many “ear infections” are infections of the middle ear (acute otitis media). These infections, which are characterized by fluid build-up in the inner ear, may be caused by bacteria or viruses. In many cases, ear infections are the result of another illness, such as the common cold, influenza or allergies. Congestion of any kind may lead to an ear infection, especially if the Eustachian tubes, which allow for middle ear drainage, become inflamed.
See an ENT Doctor Near You for Ear Infection
An ENT doctor may be able to diagnose an ear infection based on symptoms and a physical exam. The physical exam typically consists of listening to respiratory function with a stethoscope and examining the ears (as well as nose and throat) with a pneumatic otoscope, a tool that allows the health care provider to observe the eardrum. In some cases, additional diagnostic tests may be performed.
In most cases, ear infections resolve without treatment. Usually symptoms will improve within 48 hours, with infections clearing up entirely within one to two weeks. Antibiotics may be used in certain situations – especially in children under six months of age. However, antibiotics are typically not recommended unless absolutely necessary. Also, it’s important to note that antibiotics will not help an infection caused by a virus.
Relieving Ear Infections At Home
Ear pain may be relieved through the use of a warm, moist cloth placed over the affected ear. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also be helpful. However, check with your child’s doctor before administering these over-the-counter drugs.
Get Treatment for Earache With an ENT Doctor Near You
For more information about earache treatments available at ENT Clinic of Utah, schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist near you. With locations in Magna and West Valley City, we aim for quick, convenient and professional service.
Call 801-912-8270 to schedule an appointment.