Ear infections can be very painful for adults but even more so for children who have smaller ears. If you or your child is suffering from an ear infection, Gregory Pippin, MD, and Adil Fatakia, MD, at ENT of New Orleans can help. Serving the Greater New Orleans area at their offices in Marrero and New Orleans East, Louisiana, Dr. Pippin and Dr. Fatakia provide exceptional services for all ear, nose, and throat conditions. They also have on-site testing facilities for a fast and accurate diagnosis. Call ENT of New Orleans today to find out more or book an appointment online.
An ear infection is a painful condition in which bacteria breed in the ear and cause a buildup of fluid.
Ear infections are more common in children, because they have smaller ears, making it easier for bacteria to multiply and for fluid to build up. An ear infection is more likely to develop when you or your child has a respiratory tract infection like a cold or sinusitis.
The pain an ear infection causes is sometimes due to inflammation in the middle ear. Inflammation here leads to fluid build-up behind the eardrum. The pain could also be due to swelling of the eustachian tubes, the channels that connect the back of your nose to your middle ear.
The most obvious symptom is pain. Other signs that your child has an ear infection include:
The pain is likely to be worse when they’re lying down. You might also see fluid leaking from their ears. They might have difficulty hearing properly. They might even experience hearing loss.
If an ear infection isn’t causing too much trouble, it would be best to just let it get better on its own. You can use over-the-counter medication to relieve mild pain.
If the ear infection isn’t improving or is severe, you’ll need prescription medication or numbing drops. If a bacterial infection is causing a fever, an ear infection might need antibiotics.
When a child has repeated ear infections (called chronic otitis media) or fluid buildup in their ear remains after the infection clears (called otitis media with effusion), they’ll probably need to have their ears drained. The board-certified surgeons at ENT of New Orleans can do this using an outpatient procedure called a myringotomy.
The surgeon makes a very small hole in the eardrum to draw out the fluid in the middle ear. Then they put a tiny tube called a tympanostomy tube into the hole. The tube allows air to get to the middle ear and helps to stop fluid from building up again.
Your child might have temporary tubes that stay in for up to a year before they fall out. Or your child might need tubes that stay in longer and need to be surgically removed. Once the tube is out, the eardrum usually closes back up on its own.
If you’re concerned about your child having ear infections or you have ear problems yourself, call ENT of New Orleans today or book an appointment online.
We see patients all throughout the Greater New Orleans area. Call us to book your appointment today.