Pediatrics located in Lowell, MA & Chelmsford, MA
Five out of six children in the United States develop at least one ear infection by the time they reach their third birthday. The team at Cardinal Pediatrics offers on-site diagnostic testing services to confirm ear infections as the source of ear pain. They also customize care plans to treat existing infections with medications and prevent new infections with minimally invasive surgery. To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for ear pain and other symptoms of an ear infection, call the office in Chelmsford or Lowell, Massachusetts, today, or book an appointment online.
Ear Infection Q & A
What is an ear infection?
An ear infection is an inflammation in the ear that can develop when bacteria settle in your child’s middle ear. The bacteria can cause a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum.
Ear infections are common in children because the eustachian tubes in their ears are smaller and more level than in adults, so fluids can’t drain out of the ear as easily. Many children develop an ear infection after a cold or other upper respiratory infection.
Too much fluid in the ear can lead to symptoms like:
- Ear pain
- Difficulty hearing
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of balance and coordination
In very young children who can’t complain about ear pain, symptoms of an ear infection may include ear pulling, fussiness, or not responding to sounds.
How is an ear infection diagnosed?
The Cardinal Pediatrics team offers sick visits in-office to determine if your child has an ear infection. The team evaluates your child’s overall health and reviews their symptoms during your appointment.
They can use a lighted instrument to look inside your child’s eardrum. A healthy eardrum moves back and forth easily. However, if the eardrum is red and bulging, it confirms an active infection.
The team customizes a plan to treat your child’s ear infection and ease their pain and other symptoms.
How is an ear infection treated?
Treating an ear infection typically involves a course of antibiotics for 7-10 days. The team can provide antibiotics that your child takes orally or as drops you place in their ear.
It’s important that your child takes all of their antibiotics as the team prescribes them, or there’s a risk the infection could return.
You may also need to give your child over-the-counter pain relievers to ease their discomfort and help them sleep.
If your child has recurrent ear infections, they may need a minimally invasive surgery to prevent new infections. During surgery, the team places small tubes in the eardrum to improve airflow and help fluids drain out of the middle ear. Tubes typically stay in place for up to nine months before falling out.
Some children may also need surgery to remove their adenoids, lymphatic tissue at the back of the nose and throat that can enlarge in young children.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for symptoms of an ear infection, call the Cardinal Pediatrics office nearest you today, or book an appointment online.
We offer pediatric care, physical exams, and newborn care located in Lowell, MA and Chelmsford, MA. Call us to book your appointment today.
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