Acute Ear Infections
Acute ear infections occur in the middle or outer ear. Your doctor can help you locate your infection, and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Anything that causes the tube to become inflamed or produce excess mucous or saliva could be the cause of an ear infection, including:
- Cold and sinus infections
- Cold weather
- Altitude or climate changes
- Pacifier use
Adults can get ear infections, but children are much more likely to get them because their smaller ear tubes are more easily clogged.
If your infant has an ear infections, he’ll likely cry without a clear cause and have trouble sleeping. Older children and adults will tell you they feel pain or a full feeling in their ear. They may also have an overall sick feeling. Sometimes green or yellow fluid will drain out of the ear.
Sometimes ear infections will resolve themselves without help from antibiotics. So, if your child is six months or older, you can apply a warm washcloth to the ear or try over-the-counter pain-relievers for children. But if your child is less than six months or develops a fever more than 102 degrees, you should consult your doctor.
Your doctor will use a tool to look into you or your child’s ear for:
- Damage to the eardrum
If your doctor determines you or your child has an ear infection, she may prescribe antibiotics, especially if your child is younger than two years old, or she may recommend ways to cope with the pain until the infection clears. Most of the time the infection will go away, but sometimes it will return.