Does your child have an ear infection that won’t subside? Although the rate of infant and toddler ear infections has decreased in the last two decades, parents are still concerned that chronic ear infections could damage their children’s hearing. There are children who have had so many ear infections that they are beginning to lose hearing in one or both ears: infected ear wax can block their hearing, and they may show signs of delayed motor and cognitive development.
If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, look for local urgent cares in your area. Medical walk in clinic doctors are used to seeing children with ear infections and can help you begin treatment. There are ear infections that are caused by viruses and ones caused by bacteria, but medical clinic doctors cannot distinguish them from each other just by looking into your child’s ear canal. Doctors are cautious about over-prescribing antibiotics: recent studies indicated that more than 80% of all childhood ear infections will improve in a few days to a week’s time. If you child has a chronic ear infection that won’t go away, talk to your nearest walk in clinic doctor and start to develop a plan for treatment.
While some ear infections in very young children do turn out to be teething pain, you should still take your child to urgent cares if they are having trouble settling down at night, crying uncontrollably and pulling on their ears, or if they are pointing at their ears when you ask them where their pain is locate. Health officials want parents to know that they can cut down on the risk of chronic ear infection, reducing the need for visits to local urgent cares. If you hand your child a pacifier, bacteria from their environment could travel from their mouths to their ears: simply cutting down pacifier time can reduce the risk of ear infection by more than 30%.
Doctors also want parents to know that they should limit their babies’ exposure to secondhand smoke, which can cause ear infections. Babies who breastfeed for more than six months have a much lower risk of chronic ear problems, as do babies who take their bottles in a sitting position. Doctors at urgent cares warn parents that babies who eat lying down have a much higher risk of ear infection: the formula or breastmilk can travel back into their middle ear. Some doctors also recommend removing built up earwax, because some people are more prone to wax build up. There are a variety of treatments available, and parents can inform their urgent cares that they want to avoid too many antibiotics. If the problem persists, doctors may recommend putting a tube into the ear to promote fluid drainage.
Local urgent cares offer a wide range of medical services, ranging from wound care to assistance with sports injury. Ear infection rates have decreased dramatically in the past 20 years due to new vaccination protocols, but parents know that even one ear infection is too many: infections can be painful and distracting for younger children. Get the proper treatment from your local medical walk in clinic and ask them about recommendations from treatment and prevention: your child will thank you for the intervention.