How to Prevent Chronic Middle Ear Pain & Infections in Toddlers in West Jordan, UT

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Before the age of 5, most children experience at least once ear infection. If these ear infections continue frequently or the child experiences hearing loss due to the fluid build-up, the child’s doctor might suggest ear tubes. If other alternative treatments are not working, the tubes can provide the relief your child needs and prevent long-term hearing problems. Today, we at ENT Specialists would like to relate some information about ear infections and ear tubes.

Causes of Ear Infections in Children

Ear infections occur when viruses or bacteria collect in the middle ear; the space just behind the eardrum. Because the children’s bodies are still developing, kids will get them more often than adults. The Eustachian tubes, the parts of the ear that drain fluid, are smaller and almost level to the ground. This indicates they do not drain well even in healthy little ones. When the Eustachian tubes swell or fill with mucus, such as from cold or allergies, it will get worse as the right conditions are present for bacteria to thrive, which leads to infection. For some kids, it happens more often.

Middle Ear Infection Symptoms

When the ear has the infection, the muddle ear has a fluid buildup, which creates pressure and pain and the following symptoms often buildup.
– Fluid leaking from the ear.
– Sleeping challenges.
– Especially when lying down, the little one will cry or fuss more than normal.
– Ear is tugging
– Balance issues and clumsiness.
– Tugging or messing with the ear.

Health Problems Caused By Frequent Ear Infections

Your doctor will likely want to monitor the ear infections because the infection goes away on its own, typically, particularly especially if it’s from a virus. In many instances, antibiotics will kill infections caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, children with frequent ear infections can pose long-term problems that include:
1) Loss of Hearing.
2) Tear or holes in the eardrum.
3) Infections spreading to other areas of the head.
4) Delay in development such as speech and social skill.

Ear Tube Surgery Treatment

Your doctor may want to turn to tubes based on the child’s infection history such as 3 or more within a 6-month period or 4 or more in a 12-month period. Additionally, should your child have a long-term problem and antibiotics haven’t helped, the doctor may want to invest in ear tubes. Even if there is no infection, but the child’s ears have fluid buildup that is causing loss of hearing, the tubes may be helpful as well. The ear tubes are much like a section of a tiny straw; round, hollow, and typically made of metal or plastic. The doctor makes a small opening in the eardrum and inserts the tube that allows air into the middle ear. The tubes are like small windows for the ear and help airflow into the ear, balancing the pressure and help the ear drain. Better airflow prevents fluid buildup, reducing the risk of bacteria. Once the tubes are in, children with hearing loss due to the fluid buildup will have improved hearing soon and development delays will see dramatic improvement in the months ahead. Some ear tubes are only inserted for short-term and go in for 6-18 months and fall out on their own, others are designed for longer use. The long-term will need to be removed by the doctor, although some can fall out. Once the tubes are out, the eardrum hole will close on its own. If you or your child might need hearing tubes or are experiencing any other problem with your ears, nose or throat; contact ENT Specialists.

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