How to treat ear infections?
Are antibiotics always necessary?
No but because there is higher rate of complications in younger children there is a lower threshold for using antibiotics. However the ear infections can often be managed with Calpol and Nurofen reserving antibiotics for those children who are particularly ill or with a high fever that fails to settle
These are rare but potentially very serious
Acute mastoiditis – the ear sticks forwards and there may be redness and swelling behind the ear
If a child is listless, drowsy, in severe pain and not themselves they should see a doctor urgently
What happens if the eardrum perforates?
In fact this is actually quite a good thing as often the pain eases when this happens. The perforation is usually a tiny hole that heals within a few days. It is best to keep the ear dry if this happens. Sometimes antibiotic ear drops are used to treat the discharge if this is persistent
What about grommets?
Grommets can be very helpful in managing ear infections.
They are particularly helpful when pain is a siginificant factor. The downside of grommets is that the infections may still occur with discharge through the grommet.
Do children grow out of ear infections?
Yes most children grow out of their ear infections when they are around 2 and a half to 3 years of age