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It appears by surprise during the night, the baby complains in a diffuse or forceful way and cannot fall asleep. Sometimes, the intensity of the cry alerts you to a sharp pain, while the child puts his hand to his ear, if he is small, or tells you that his ear hurts, if he already knows how to speak. All the clues point to a middle ear infection and its treatment is key to prevent it from recurring constantly.
The treatment of otitis depends on two factors, one is the identification of the type of otitis and the second is the age of the child. Until recently, antibiotics were the drug of choice for treating otitis in children, whereas now pediatricians only prescribe them in some cases. Most otitis remits within 48 or 72 hours of having manifested, but since they are painful and sometimes intense, the use of analgesics, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, is recommended to calm the initial discomfort. Depending on the age of the child, the treatment of choice is as follows:
1. Under 6 months. Antibiotic is generally prescribed.
2. 6 months to 2 years. The pediatrician will take into account these variables before prescribing an antibiotic: your general condition, if you have a high fever or if you attend daycare. If you go to daycare, the risk of otitis being caused by bacteria is higher.
3. Over 2 years. If the child has a high fever or is in poor general condition, the pediatrician usually prescribes antibiotics from the first moment. Also if the ear drains or if the inflammation can perforate the eardrum. On the other hand, if the general condition of the child is good, it is better to wait 48 to 72 hours before prescribing an antibiotic because the otitis can remit and improve. A good treatment for otitis is essential to prevent the child from generating resistant bacteria, which cause recurrent otitis, which are the most difficult to cure.
It is advisable to use a swimming cap or plugs, avoid moisture in the ear, do not carry out vigorous cleaning and do not abuse the swabs. To wash the baby's ear during the bath, every other day, the baby's head should be tilted to allow the water to enter the ear and soften the earwax. This prevents wax build-up and ear plugging, without having to crush or push the wax into the ear. However, there are two good tips to prevent this disease:
- Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding for at least the first three months of life delays the onset of otitis.
- Expel snot. As soon as the child can, it is essential to teach him to blow the snot downwards so that they expel them, instead of sucking them upwards. Thus, we will be preventing snot from passing into the ear.
Environmental humidity, swimming, excessive sweating, exposure to high ambient temperatures, bathing in contaminated water, having inadequate ear hygiene or trying to clean the ear with cotton buds can all trigger otitis. Children who suffer from chronic diseases such as eczema or dermatitis are also prone to otitis. Plus:
- Tobacco smoke increases the frequency and severity of otitis.
- The use of the pacifier also predisposes to suffer them.
- Frequent use of antibiotics can predispose to this disease.
When the baby or child frequently has otitis, it is advisable to consider the time of year in which it occurs to apply the most correct prevention measures in this regard. Children very affected by the accumulation of mucus, repeated ear infections or deafness, should see a doctor, since frequent drains in the eardrum may be necessary so that the accumulated mucus comes out, does not become infected and does not cause deafness. On the other hand, only a medical examination of the ear canal and an evaluation of the eardrum can give an accurate diagnosis of the type of otitis the child suffers from.
You can read more articles similar to Prevention and treatment of otitis, in the category of Childhood Diseases on site.