Did you know that
most kids have at least one ear infection before they’re two years old?
ear infections consist of an earache and maybe a fever.
What is an infection?
An infection occurs when germs attack your body, if they get trapped in
your middle ear (a pocket of air about the size of a grape behind your eardrum) it
fills with pus. This pus causes pressure, making your ear hurt.
How can you get an ear infection?
Between your middle ear and throat is the
auditory tube A.K.A. the Eustachian
tube. Sometimes your auditory tube gets blocked, then germs get
trapped inside and grow. (This also stops pressure from being released.)
Ear infections hurt, but are not contagious. Babies with ear infections
may cry more than usual, tug at their ears, and not eat or drink
What will my doctor do?
Your doctor will look in your ears with an otoscope.
With the otoscope, the
see your eardrum. The eardrum is a thin boundary between your outer and
middle ear. If you have an ear infection, your eardrum will turn red and
bulge. If the doctor blows in your ear, it won’t vibrate like it should.
The doctor may do an tympanogram. With this test your doctor can
be almost positive whether you have an ear infection or not. The doctor
may give you an antibiotic to take for 5-10 days. Most of the time this
medicine will cure an infection. You should feel better in a day or two,
but take the antibiotic the full time the doctor recommends.
Ear Infection Prevention
Most ear infections are caused by colds, so of possible stay away from people with colds, wash your hand often, and try not to touch your eyes or nose. Also, cigarette smoke can keep your auditory tubes from working so stay away from smoky places.
The Nemours Foundation. "KidsHealth for Kids" 1995-2004. <http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/> (January-February, 2004).
Images of microscope, ear, and otoscope from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?cag=1> Images free for non-profit and personal use. (October-February, 2003-2004).
Bernstein, Joanne E. and Paul Cohen. Dizzy Doctor Riddles. Niles, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company. 1989.
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