Sooner or later most children get an ear infection. Ear infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses, and commonly occur after a cold, sore throat or the flu. Cold air, water and wax in the ear DO NOT cause ear infections. Symptoms may include: pain, especially when lying down; fever, hearing loss or discharge, if the eardrum has ruptured.
If you have concerns that your child may have an ear infection, proper diagnosis requires the doctor to look into the ear with an otoscope. After diagnosis, treatment usually requires antibiotics for five to 10 days. Pay attention for any signs of complications. Call the office if fever or pain lasts more than a few days, the pain gets worse, he or she develops a stiff neck, if you notice drainage from the ear, your child develops a rash (especially hives), he or she is unable to take their medication because of vomiting, etc. Sometimes a follow-up visit is needed to ensure the infection has completely resolves.