No parents wants to hear their child crying from an ear infection. In fact, ear infections are the most common reason for young children’s repeated doctor visits. Each time, the infection is treated but always returns sooner or later. If the cycle continues long enough, children can suffer some degree of hearing loss and may eventually require Hearing Devices in Lancaster PA.
There are Three Types of Ear Infections
Each type of ear infection (Otitis Media or OM) has different symptoms.
* Acute Otitis Media (AOM):
* This is the most frequently seen type of ear infection. Swelling and infection in the middle ear causes fluid to become trapped behind the eardrum, causing the earache. There could be an accompanying fever.
* Otitis Media with Effusion (OME):
* Occasionally an ear infection will have run its course but there is still fluid trapped behind the eardrum. There may be no symptoms but an examination will reveal the remaining fluid.
* Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion (COME):
* At times there is no infection but fluid remains in the middle ear or chronically returns. Children with COME find it harder to fight off new infections and the child’s hearing can be affected.
Children Have More Ear Infections than Adults
That’s certainly not news to parents, but why is that the case? There are several reasons.
* A child’s eustachian tubes are smaller, making it more difficult for fluid to drain from ears. Blocked or swollen eustachian tubes, caused by a cold or other respiratory illness, can make it impossible for the fluid to drain.
* The immune system of a child is still developing, making it more difficult for a child to fight off infections.
* If bacteria become trapped in the adenoids, part of the immune system, this can result in a chronic infection that spreads to the eustachian tubes and middle ear.
Allergies and Ear Infections
Allergies are one possible cause of chronic ear infections, causing chronic inflammation and accumulated fluid, reducing hearing and potentially resulting in speech difficulties. If a child has chronic earaches, itchy or “stopped-up” ears, consider a visit to an allergist.
The board certified physicians at Otolaryngology Physicians of Lancaster specialize in ear, nose and throat conditions for all members of the family, including children. These Lancaster ENT doctors offer medical treatment, surgical solutions and a variety of hearing devices in Lancaster, PA. For an appointment, contact the office.