Catching colds is an unfortunate but unavoidable part of childhood. Your child will probably succumb to them more during the colder months and they may seem to be almost constantly ill with colds when they start at daycare or school. Most of the time, colds are mild illnesses that resolve themselves within a few days but sometimes they can lead to secondary infections that require further medical treatment.
Ear infections are one of the most common secondary infections that small children develop when they have a cold. Children have very short ear canals, which means that mucous from the nasal passage and airways can build up in the middle ear, causing a bacterial infection.
Mild ear infections may clear up on their own but more severe cases will require treatment with antibiotics. Whether mild or severe, ear infections can be very painful and distressing for small children and their carers. For some children who are prone to recurrent ear infections, treatment or surgery may become necessary to give them relief.
If your child suffers from recurring, severe ear infections, here are the two steps you'll need to take.
1. Speak to your GP
Your GP is the first port of call when seeking treatment for your child's recurrent ear infections. They will check your child's medical records and help you to ascertain whether the frequency of the infections is high enough to warrant further treatment by a specialist ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor.
Generally, your child will need to have had several ear infections within a six or twelve month period to be considered for specialist treatment. If necessary, your GP will refer you to an ENT clinic for an appointment with a specialist.
2. See an ENT specialist
The role of your ENT specialist is to manage and treat your child's recurrent ear infection issues. They will generally recommend either a conservative treatment plan or a treatment plan that involves surgery. Conservative treatment plans usually involve a watch and see approach, with early administration of antibiotics whenever a cold develops.
When deciding on the best treatment path, your ENT specialist will consider a number of factors. The severity and frequency of the infection, any damage that has been caused to the ear from past infections and the negative impact of many courses of antibiotics will all be taken into consideration.
Your child's age is another important contributing factor. As children grow, their ear canal lengthens and ear infections become less common. If your child is older, the risks and stress of surgery might not be worth it if the incidence of infection will naturally reduce soon anyway.Share
9 October 2017
Yo! Welcome to my blog. The most important thing you have in life is your health. You can have a big car and a nice house and a great career but without your health, all of this is worth nothing at all. I didn't realise this until my dad became unwell and a man who seemed like a giant among the men of this world was suddenly stuck in a hospital bed. I nursed my dad and supported him throughout his recovery. During this time, I learnt a lot about the health and medical world. I hope you like this blog.