Acute Middle Ear Infection
What Causes Acute Middle Ear Infections (Acute Otitis Media= AOM)?
AOM happens when infection spreads up the small tubes that connect the middle ear to the back of the nose (Eustachian Tubes – ET’s)
- the tubes swell shut
- infection builds in the middle ear behind the ear drum
- the ear drum bulges out, it becomes red and pain increases
How Can I Tell If My Child Has AOM?
- they may develop a high temperature
- they may cry or grizzle more than usual
- you may notice that they keep tugging their ear
- older children may tell you that their ear is sore
- you may notice discharge from the ear, sometimes called a runny or leaking ear
- your child’s ear can need be assessed by an Ear Nurse or doctor
- antibiotics are not always needed
- go back and see your doctor again if your child is not getting better
- if the infection bursts through the ear drum, the discharge can be cleaned from the ear canal using micro-suction
- use pain relief to keep the child as comfortable as possible
For prevention and treatment see our page on Middle Ear Trouble
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