Does your child have an earache? If in doubt, you can call Marlowe & Marrs Sarasota Pediatric ENT. Kids commonly complain of earaches. Some don’t necessarily complain of an earache, but just tug at their ears or a little more fussy than usual. Surprisingly, an earache doesn’t always mean that your kids have an ear infection.
What, besides an actual ear infection, can cause an earache? Does your child have a new tooth coming in? Has he been swimming (swimmer’s ear)? Does she have a sore throat or runny nose? Although most middle ear infections come after a few days of cold symptoms, simply having a sore throat or runny nose might cause some ear pain.
As you can imagine, lots of things can cause earaches, but the most common include:
- Swimmer’s ear, otitis externa – unlike otitis media, these kids typically have outer ear pain, or pain when you move or tug on their ear lobe.
- Middle ear effusions – fluid that is left over in the middle ear after an ear infection that has nothing to do with swimming.
- Sinus congestion – some kids associate the extra ear popping that comes with allergies or a cold/sinus infection as being painful or uncomfortable.
- Pharyngitis – because of referred pain, some kids with sore throats complain of ear pain instead of throat pain.
And then some younger kids simply tug on their ears for no medical reason. They are otherwise well, sleeping all night, eating well, and aren’t fussy.
Marlowe & Marrs Sarasota Pediatric ENT Specialists
If in doubt, you can call Marlowe & Marrs, your Sarasota Pediatric ENT specialist. For most children, instead of having your child start antibiotics right away, Marlowe & Marrs might have you wait for 48 hours – the observation option. You can then start the antibiotics if your child doesn’t get better after a period of watchful waiting for two or three days. Until then, an age-appropriate dose of Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen) can often help control pain or fever. While it is sometimes obvious to know what is going on when older kids complain of ear pain, it is important to understand that not every earache means an ear infection, and even when it does, it might not result in a prescription for an antibiotic. Again, if in doubt, call our Sarasota office.
Treatment for Your Child’s Earache – Sarasota Pediatric ENT
Treatment for your child’s earache is available at our Sarasota Pediatric ENT office. Once you know why your child has an earache, which typically means a trip to the Marlowe & Marrs office, you need to know what to do about it. You’re expecting that a prescription for an antibiotic will be necessary, but it may not.
Many parents will be happy to hear that most earaches won’t mean an automatic antibiotic prescription. Instead, your pediatrician will likely:
- Recommend symptomatic care for teething.
- Prescribe antibiotic ear drops for swimmer’s ear.
- Recheck your child’s middle ear effusion in a few months, as this goes away on its own in most cases without any treatment.
- Treat underlying congestion from allergies, colds or a sinus infection as needed.
- Recommend symptomatic care for a sore throat.
What if your child really does have a middle ear infection? Then he will get antibiotics, right? Not necessarily. Since most ear infections get better on their own, antibiotics are typically reserved for:
- Children under age 6 months with acute otitis media, typically ear pain and a bulging eardrum.
- Children who are at least 6 months with acute otitis media and severe signs or symptoms, including moderate or severe pain for at least 48 hours or a temperature of 102.2℉ or higher.
- Children who are under 24 months with “double” ear infections (both ears are infected at the same time), even if they just have mild symptoms.
Pediatric ENT Care In Sarasota, Florida
At Marlowe & Marrs, we value your health and the health of your children. Our dedicated staff is ready to listen and cater to your child’s needs to make sure they receive the proper care they deserve. Make an appointment today by calling (941) 529-7212 or selecting and filling out the appropriate form below.