An ear infection (otitis media) is most often a viral or bacterial infection in the middle ear.
A middle ear infection typically occurs when fluid build up in the air-filled space behind the eardrum and do not drain properly after a cold or allergies.
Ear infections can affect any age group, but children are more likely than adults to get them.
Ear Infection Symptoms
Ear infections can be painful because of the pressure from fluid buildup and inflammation of the soft tissue in the ear.
Other symptoms include diminished hearing and fluid draining from the ear.
Children may also have a fever, problems balancing, loss of appetite, and tug or pull on their ear.
Ear Infections in Children
Ear infections often clear up on their own and treatment may begin with managing the pain and monitoring the infection. If the infection is bacterial, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Children who have recurring infection or persistent fluid buildup may require ear tube (tympanostomy tube) surgery.
It is an outpatient procedure where the surgeon creates a tiny hole in the eardrum, suctions the fluid out, and places the ear tube in the opening to help ventilate the middle ear and prevent accumulation of more fluid.
If you or someone you care for has symptoms of an ear infection, it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. You should seek medical attention if the symptoms last more than a day, the ear pain is severe, or there is a noticeable discharge from the ear.
Please contact our North Sioux City office at (605) 217-4320 to schedule an appointment.