Baby Ear Infections: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


Ear infections are one of the most common diagnosed illnesses in babies. Reports suggest that most children have had at least one ear infection before they turn three years old.

What are symptoms of ear infections?

When suffering from ear infections, your baby may have a change in their mood, along with some noticeable signs, such as:

  • Your baby pulls, grabs, or tugs at their ears
  • Develop a fever, whether it is slight or high: Ear infections may strike after your baby catch a common cold or sinus infection.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting: Ear infections can affect the gastrointestinal tract of your baby.
  • Reduced appetite: Ear infections can cause your baby to experience pain when swallowing and chewing.
  • Yellow or whitish fluid draining from the ear: This happens when there is a small hole that has developed in your baby’s eardrum.
  • Unpleasant smell: There is a foul odor coming from your child’s ear.
  • Difficulty sleeping: Lying down can cause your baby some pains.

What causes ear infections in babies?

Your baby will get an ear infection after catching a cold, sinus infections, or even allergies. In this condition, the eustachian tube, which links to the middle ear and the back of the nose and throat, is blocked. This causes any fluid that enters this area to be trapped and then become infected due to germs.

Researchers proved that babies and young children are more likely to get middle ear infections if they use pacifiers. In one study, the quantity of children who used pacifiers got ear infections was 33 percent more than the number of babies who didn’t.

When your baby grows up, their possibility of ear infections tends to decrease because their eustachian tubes triple in length and become more vertical. This makes fluid hard to get stuck in the area behind the eardrum.

What is the treatment for an ear infection in a baby?

Based on how severe your baby’s case is, treatment options include taking a wait-and-see approach or using antibiotics. Most ear infections clear up on their own so the former will be better when your baby’s symptoms are quite mild.

When your child’s discomforts get worse, antibiotics are necessary to defend against ear infections. Doctors will prescribe them carefully because children who take too many antibiotics are more likely to get antibiotic-resistant infections. If your baby is at least 6 months old, your doctor may recommend infants’ acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve the pain. In case your child does not improve significantly after taking an antibiotic, your doctor may change the medication, examine again, and ask you to come back for another follow-up exam.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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