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Children’s ear infections are common occurrences around the country. By the time they turn three, five out of six children experience at least one ear infection. It is important to recognize the symptoms, especially since infants and young children who might not be able to verbalize their discomfort are the ones most susceptible to this illness.
Types of Ear Infections
There are three main types of ear infections:
- Acute otitis media: The middle ear becomes swollen and infected, trapping fluid behind the eardrum. This leads to an earache and possibly a fever.
- Otitis media with effusion: The fluid becomes trapped behind the eardrum after an ear infection. Generally, it is asymptomatic.
- Chronic otitis media with effusion: This occurs when the fluid remains in the ear for an extended period of time or continually recurs, although it does not lead to an infection.
Common Signs and Symptoms
There are a few common telltale signs and symptoms that you child suffers from one:
- Difficulty hearing
- Non-responsive to certain sounds
- Balance issues
- Sleeping problems
- Unusual or unexplained crying or fussiness
- Pulling, tugging or touching the ear
- Fluid in and around the ear
Do not become immediately alarmed if you see any of the above symptoms; most ear infections go away on their own. However, be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors when symptoms last for more than a few days or if the fever is higher than 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. If your child is younger than three months of age and has a fever, it’s important to always contact our office right away at 561-275-7100.