Before their third birthday, 5 out of 6 children will have at least one ear infection. While common, ear infections need treatment to prevent complications, including hearing loss. The board-certified pediatricians at Annandale Pediatrics offer on-site diagnostics and treatment for ear infections in kids of all ages at their office in Annandale, Virginia. The doctors provide antibiotics to clear the infection and home care guidance to keep your child comfortable. Don’t delay a diagnostic appointment if you suspect an ear infection. Call the Annandale Pediatrics office or request an appointment online today.
An ear infection develops when bacteria settle in the middle ear, causing inflammation and excess fluid buildup. This type of infection is very common in children but needs proper medical treatment to prevent serious complications.
Infections often start when your child has a cold or other infection in their upper respiratory system. Bacteria responsible for these illnesses can move into the middle ear, causing a variety of symptoms that make your child uncomfortable.
Older children can express how they feel as the result of an ear infection. Common symptoms of an infection include:
In babies and young children who can’t speak, ear-pulling, fussiness, and crying are common.
The Annandale Pediatrics team is fully equipped to diagnose an ear infection, often confirming the infection through a physical exam. The pediatricians assess your child’s ears for signs of inflammation and check for fever or other symptoms common with an infection.
To determine if there’s fluid build-up behind the eardrum, your child’s doctor may use a pneumatic otoscope to deliver a puff of air into the ear canal.
Typically, a course of oral antibodies is needed to clear the infection and alleviate pain and other symptoms of an ear infection. Your Annandale Pediatrics may also recommend antibiotics in ear drop form. To keep your child free of fever and pain, your pediatrician can recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers.
Within a few days of starting antibiotics, your child should start feeling better. Even when symptoms go away, your child still needs a full course of antibiotics to keep the infection from returning.
You need to schedule a follow-up appointment for an ear check in a week or so to ensure the infection is going away. Fluid can remain behind the eardrum for several weeks but should drain out on its own. Your child may still have difficulties hearing clearly until the fluid is gone.
If you suspect your child has an ear infection, schedule an evaluation. Call Annandale Pediatrics or use the convenient online booking system.