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Ear Infection

AAA Pediatrics

Pediatrics located in Woodbridge, VA

An ear infection can cause your infant or child to feel fussy and generally ill. Oscar Sugastti, MD, FAA, and Jacqueline Adames, FNP-BC, and the team at AAA Pediatrics, in Woodbridge, Virginia, offers expert assessment, treatment, and diagnosis for swimmer’s ear and all types of ear infection. For evaluation and treatment, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Ear Infection Q & A

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection is a common condition that often affects children, caused by a bacteria or virus that impacts the inside of the ear. An ear infection may develop before the eardrum or behind the eardrum and may cause pain and tenderness near the ear, side of the head, and jaw.

The two most common types of ear infections are middle ear and external infections. These conditions have similar symptoms, though their underlying cause is slightly different.

Middle ear infection

A middle ear infection, sometimes called otitis media, affects the area immediately behind the eardrum. This type of infection is most common with children and may clear up without any intervention.

External ear infection

An external ear infection, also called swimmer’s ear, occurs just this side of the eardrum when contaminated water gets inside the ear. This infection is common in the summertime, due to increased bathing and swimming.

Although both children and adults may have an ear infection, infants and small contract them more frequently because the structures inside their ears are so small. Teething and colds may increase fluid inside their head and ears, which may not drain effectively and become infected.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Inflammation and swelling cause pain and discomfort when your child’s ear is infected. They may have symptoms, such as:

  • Tugging or pulling on ears
  • Rubbing or hitting the side of the head
  • Ear pain, which is worse when lying down
  • Itchiness inside ears
  • Swelling around ear
  • Difficulty hearing or not responding to sound

They may also exhibit:

  • Crying more than usual, for infants
  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of balance
  • A headache
  • Loss of appetite

If your child has an ear infection, they may or may not have a fever. Especially for infants, symptoms are often worse at nighttime. In many cases, ear infections last only two to three days and clear up on their own.

What are the treatments for an ear infection?

Your pediatrician creates a treatment plan for your child’s ear infection based on several factors:

  • Type of ear infection
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Child’s age
  • The frequency of ear infections
  • Length of time symptoms have been present

Antibiotics may not always be the best option to treat your child’s ear infection. In some cases, pain-relieving medications and close monitoring for worsening disease may be the best option.

For a consultation and treatment plan ear pain or ear infection, call or schedule an appointment online with AAA Pediatrics.