Kids under the age of 3 will easily acquire an ear infection after a common cold. It is because common colds infect the fluid behind the eardrum.
The reason, why kids get easily affected is – they do not have a powerful immune system. They are new to the world, so it will take a little longer time for the tiny bodies to learn how to fight the germs. Also, the Eustachian tubes, that connect the middle ear and throat are very narrow, this will make the fluids to halt in the ear, instead of draining out.
How do you know if your child has an ear infection?
Grown-up children, can complain of an ear ache, but the younger ones, might not be able to say that they are suffering from an earache, instead, they may –
- Fluid draining out from the ear
- Tugging/pulling the ears
- The kids become very fussy in eating foods
- Trouble in sleeping
- Trouble in hearing low sounds
- Crying more than normal
- Being too very dependent on parents
- Unpleasant odor from your child’s ear
Who is at a higher risk of gaining ear infections?
- Kids under the age of 5, as their Eustachian tubes are short/narrow.
- Kids who attend schools/day care centers. They might easily get infected with cold from other kids.
- Kids, who react to allergies.
- Kids, who are subjected to smokes from cigarette. Smokes infect the Eustachian tube and causes inflammation.
- Kids, who missed breast milk, when they were babies.
- Bottle fed kids are more prone to get infections. The milk swallowed by them, when they are lying flat, will cause the milk to enter the Eustachian tube, which results in inflammation.
The complications that rise out of an ear infection are:
The major complication is – ‘Hearing Loss.’ The infected fluid remains behind the eardrum and generates pain even after the infection is over. This will cause
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- Glue ear – It happens when the ear drum is filled with fluid, and it becomes thick and sticky. This might affect the other ear as well.
- Hearing Problems – This will make the child in developing difficulties in speech and learning.
- Communication problems – Doctor’s say that even a mild/fluctuating loss in hearing will affect the development of a child’s communication.
Home Remedies to Treat Ear Infections:
- Compresses – Place Ice packs or warm compresses over the ear. This will soothe the pain. You can make a warm compress by dipping a washcloth in hot water and making it damp. This is very safe for kids.
- The salt Treatment – Heat up a cup of salt in low flame for a few minutes. Place this salt in a thick cloth and tie the open end so that nothing flows out. Now, when the salt reaches a bearable heat, place the cloth on the affected ear for 10 minutes. The heat produced by this content, will help in draining out the infected fluid.
- Garlic – It is highly effective in treating ear infections. Heat a garlic pod and place it on the affected ear. Garlic, with its natural antibacterial properties, will pull out the virus from the ear and will help in bringing out the fluid. Taking in two garlic pods, during the days of ear infections will help in speedy recovery.
- Basil Leaves – Crush a few basil leaves and extract the juice. Soak this in a cotton ball place it at the opening of the ear. Basil can reduce infections.
- Apple Cider Vinegar/ White Vinegar – This can reduce the fungus in ear. Mix a table spoon of apple cider vinegar with equal amounts of water. Soak a cotton ball in this mixture and place it over the ear. You can also gargle with Apple Cider Vinegar, this will help in speedy recovery.
- Breast Milk – It is the best antibiotic available on earth. You can pour a few drops of milk into the ear. It will offer a good relief.
- Mullein Drops – Prepare your own extract by boiling a few flowers in a cup of water. Let the water cool down. Mix this liquid with a tablespoon of olive oil. Let this mixture remain overnight. Pour one drop into the aching ear.
How to Prevent an Ear Infection?
- Breast Feed your child – Breast Milk has the antibodies that can prevent ear infections. So keep your child away from formula feeds and build your baby’s immunity with breast milk.
- Choose less crowded & Clean Day Care centers – The more crowded, the more the kids are exposed to infections.
- Do not Expose your baby to Second Hand Smoke – Keep your baby away from smokers. They will make your baby ill.
- Follow a proper bottle position – Hold your child upright, while consuming from the bottle. When they are old enough they must be taught to drink from regular cups and not sippers/feeding bottle.
- Provide a healthy Environment – Ask your sick family members to touch the child after washing their hands. Be certain that no visible germs touch your child.
- Water – Make your kid drink lots of water. It will keep your child hydrated and free from germs.
When should you call the doctor?
If you feel that your child has an unbearable pain, that is unable to tolerate, you must immediately consult the doctor. Or if the pain does not subside in 48 hours, rush to the doctor. Also if you see any swelling behind the ear or if you find any rashes over the skin, you must seek a medical help.