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How to Know When Your Child's Ear Pain Requires Medical Attention

How to Know When Your Child's Ear Pain Requires Medical Attention

Children commonly develop ear infections because of an accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum or an infection in the ear canal. Sometimes these infections can be managed at home with rest, monitoring, and over-the-counter medications, but when they cause serious pain and other concerning symptoms, schedule a visit to your child’s pediatric provider at South Plains Rural Health Services. 

Here’s when ear pain deserves medical attention.

Ear pain with additional symptoms

If your child has ear pain and it’s accompanied by any of the following, come visit our office:

If your child has trouble taking liquids or ear pain seems to worsen, you should also seek medical care.

Infants with ear pain

When a child is younger than 6 months old, it’s a good idea to get medical care if they’re displaying symptoms of ear pain. This is especially true if they have a fever. This population is at a greater risk of an ear drum rupture or other complications from their infection.

Of course your infant can’t tell you their ear hurts, but if you notice extreme fussiness, fever, and pulling their ear, suspect an ear infection.

Ear pain lasts

If your child complains of ear pain for more than a day or it can’t be controlled with a children's pain reliever, it’s time for a visit to our office. 

This is especially true if your infant or toddler is just recovering from a cold or other upper respiratory infection.

Possible complications

Getting your child’s ear infection resolved is important to help your child get relief and prevent possible long-term complications.

These complications include impaired hearing, speech or developmental delays, spread of the infection to nearby tissue, and tearing of the eardrum. Repeated ear infections or a particularly severe one puts your child at risk. 

Treatment for ear infections

The doctors at South Plains Rural Health prescribe antibiotics to help clear up your child’s ear infection. You’ll need to make sure your child takes the whole course of the drug, even if their symptoms clear up.

If your child has repeated ear infections, our team may recommend placing ear tubes to help drain fluid more expediently from the ear. This is an outpatient procedure during which a surgeon places a tiny hole in the eardrum that allows suctioning of fluids out of the middle ear. 

Tiny tubes placed in the opening help ventilate the middle ear and prevent the buildup of more fluids. 

Ear tubes fall out naturally over the course of several months though some designs must be removed by a medical provider. 

We here at South Plains Rural Health Services are ready to help you resolve your child’s ear pain and support their long-term health. If you’re concerned about your child’s ear infection, reach out to discuss their symptoms. Call the nearest location today, or use the online tool to set up an appointment for your child’s visit. 

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