How Can I Tell If My Child Has an Ear Infection?

Ear infections are incredibly common, particularly among children. In fact, 83 percent of children will get an ear infection by age three.

Experiencing pain in the ear is a classic sign of an ear infection, however, it’s not the sole indicator. An infection can occur even in the absence of pain, which makes it easy for ear infections to go undetected, especially in kids.

Signs Your Child Has an Ear Infection

When a child gets hit with an ear infection, they might tell you their ear feels sore or just plain uncomfortable. And as the infection gets worse, they might even feel like there’s pressure building up inside. The pain can vary – it could be a constant dull ache, a relentless pounding, or even a sharp, sudden stab.

Common Ear Infection Symptoms

If you child does have an ear infection, they’ll likely face the following symptoms for a few days:

  • Pain inside ear
  • Fever
  • Discharge coming from ear
  • Feeling pressure in ear
  • Difficulty hearing

What Causes Ear Infections?

Ever wondered why ear infections pop up? They’re usually the result of viruses or bacteria that find their way into the middle ear and set up shop. It turns out, kids are more likely to get these infections because the tubes in their ears are tinier, making it trickier for fluid to drain out – and that’s when infections like to happen.

What Can I Do for My Child’s Ear Infection at Home?

Did you know that our bodies are quite the experts at handling ear infections naturally? It’s true! While it’s no fun to see your little one uncomfortable, the good news is that many ear infections clear up by themselves in about three days. The best thing you can do is make sure your child stays well-hydrated, gets plenty of rest, and you can also give them some over-the-counter pain relief if they need it.

If things don’t seem to be improving or if symptoms take a turn for the worse, don’t hesitate to drop by AFC Arden for a visit. Some infections do require antibiotics to heal, and we can evaluate your child to determine the best treatment plan.

Risk Factors for Ear Infections in Kids

While anyone can get an ear infection, some children may be more susceptible.

  • Kids who are exposed to second-hand smoke
  • Kids with allergies
  • Kids aged 3 years and younger
  • Kids who attend day care
  • Kids who excessively use pacifiers
  • Kids with a family history of chronic ear infections

Whether it’s an ear infection, flu, strep, or sinus infection, visit AFC Urgent Care Arden for help when your child is sick. We treat ages 6 months and older, and we’re open 7 days a week with no appointment necessary.