Earache and ear infections in children are common and can cause pain and swelling and even temporary deafness. It is important to keep a lookout if your child is experiencing any pain in their ears.
Ear infection in the outer ear
Ear infection in the outer ear (otitis externa) can be caused by a child swimming in contaminated water. It can also be caused by a child with a foreign object in his ear. The middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum, is reasonably well protected against infections through the outer ear. Nevertheless, infections of the nose and throat can reach the middle ear, because the middle ear is connected to the nose via the Eustachian tube. Therefore, ear infections often follow common colds and throat infections.
Ear infection in the middle ear
One of the most frequently diagnosed diagnoses in children is inflammation in the middle ear (otitis media). Because children often suffer from inflammations involving the throat and nose, they are very susceptible to a middle ear inflammation. Possible middle ear infection in young children leads to (temporary) hearing loss. Depending on the circumstances, a hearing examination may take place later.
It can occur very rarely that the infection spreads to the brain, the meninges and the bone just behind the ears.
A child with ear infection:
The diagnosis is simple. The doctor looks with an otoscope in the ear to the mucous membrane. He will also look at the nose and throat because they often form the source of infection.
The treatment consists of opening the Eustachius tube. This can be done using steam baths or nose drops. If necessary, ear drops are prescribed. In these drops, if the doctor considers it necessary, are antibiotics. In general, the inflammation disappears after a few days. If there is too much pressure on the eardrums, it is sometimes necessary to pierce the eardrum. The nasal and / or throat tonsils are only operated upon when a child has a middle ear infection very often.