Read This To Learn About Symptoms Of An Ear Infection

Read This To Learn About Symptoms Of An Ear Infection

Read This To Learn About Symptoms Of An Ear Infection


Ear infections are one of the most common things that my friends with kids ask me about. For those without an autoscope, (the light we docs use to look in your little one’s ears) it can be one of the hardest things to tell. Even with one in our house, it’s never my instinct to run to it and look in the boys’ ears. But as I write this a friend just texted me and asked if I could check her kids ears. This is a very common occurrence in my house. I seem to be a valuable friend!


What are symptoms of an ear infection and signs of an ear infection in kids?

First off, you should know that there are 2 types of ear infections: middle ear infections and outer ear infections (aka swimmer’s ear). For children experiencing a middle ear infection, many parents complain that there child has been irritable, and not acting like themselves. This is indeed a tell tale sign that something may be going on. Other signs of an ear infection include: slight fever, touching or pulling of their ear, and inner ear pain (which likely causes them to pull at their ear and be irritable). If the eardrum perforates (ruptures) you might notice fluid coming out of the ear. If your child is experiencing these symptoms it is worth the trip to your doctor to have their ears checked.


Swimmer’s ear has similar symptoms such as pain and discomfort. But with swimmers ear, you will also notice discharge and a foul smell. Again this warrants a trip to your doctor’s office.


How to treat ear infection          

Many ear infections are caused by viral infections, and do not benefit from antibiotics. Typically, for otherwise healthy children over the age of 6 months, we wait for 2-3 days before treating with antibiotics, in the hope that the infection is viral and resolves on it’s own. If your child is prescribed an antibiotic, it is important that you take the full course of treatment even once your child is feeling better.


Swimmers ear treatment is also done with antibiotics, but this time by drops that you put inside your child’s ear. For children with chronic swimmer’s ear, many people put a drop of dilute vinegar, dilute lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide in ear after your child comes out of the pool or lake, to help kill bacteria that causes this type of ear infection. Before doing any of these preventative strategies, please consult with your doctor just to be sure.



Quick tips:

  • Early signs are fever, irritability and painful ear

  • Make sure you see your doctor if you suspect your child has an ear infection

  • Using drops after swimming can help reduce the likelihood of swimmer’s ear


Read more about what causes ear infections.

Do swimmers ear drops work?

Does your child have swollen throat glands? What is the best medicine for sore throat?

Dina M. Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

About Dina M. Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.

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