Ear Ache (Acute Otitis Media)
What causes earache?
- earache happens when a cold or infection spreads up the small tubes that connect the ear to the back of the nose and throat
- the tubes swell shut and 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 earache?
- your child may cry or grizzle more than usual
- keep touching their ear again and again
- have a discharge from the ear, sometimes called a runny or leaking ear
- older children may tell you that their ear is sore
- the child’s ear needs to be assessed by an Ear Nurse or doctor.
- antibiotics are not always needed
- go back and see your doctor if your child is not getting better
- if the infection bursts through the ear drum, the puss can be cleaned from the ear canal using micro-suction.
- use pain relief to keep the child as comfortable as possible, stretching ear drums are extremely painful. Always follow the directions carefully.
How to Prevent Ear Infections
- attend regular health checks with your child
- breastfeed if you can
- keep your home and car smokefree
- reduce the risks of allergies and asthma