If your baby is irritated most of the time, cries more than usual, and jerks their ear, it may be because of an ear infection. Five out of six children will have an ear infection before turning 3. Besides OTC medications, home remedies like olive oil for toddler ear infections are pretty effective.
Let’s see what an ear infection is? An ear infection, or otitis media, is a painful inflammation of the middle ear. Such ear infections transpire between the eardrum and the eustachian tube, connecting the ears, nose, and throat.
Ear infections usually follow a cold, mainly because of bacteria or viruses, causing inflammation and swelling of the eustachian tube. In this condition, the tube narrows, and fluid builds behind the eardrum, inducing pressure and pain. Children and toddlers have shorter and thinner Eustachian tubes than adults, and their tubes are more horizontal. Therefore, it is easier for them to get clogged.
According to the experts, approximately 5% to 10% of children with an ear infection will encounter a ruptured eardrum. It usually recovers within one to two weeks and rarely causes permanent impairment to the child’s hearing.
Earaches are painful, and your baby can not tell you what hurts. The following signs can help you tell if your baby is suffering from an earache:
Ear infections can also induce dizziness. If your baby has reached this stage, take extra care to protect them from falls.
Antibiotics were prescribed for earaches for many years. However, we now know that they may not be the best solution to this problem.
A research review published that 80% recover in about three days without antibiotics among average-risk children with ear infections. Using antibiotics to treat an ear infection may induce the bacteria accountable for ear infections to become resistant to antibiotics, making it harder to treat future infections.
Ear infections induce pain, but you can apply some methods to help ease the pain. Here are some effective home remedies:
It would help if you tried a warm, moist compress over your toddler’s ear for about 10 to 15 minutes, and it may help relieve their pain.
If your toddler is older than six months, using acetaminophen or Tylenol may help ease pain and fever. Use the medication as guided by your doctor and the instructions on the bottle. For most satisfactory results, try giving your child a dose before sleep.
If there is no fluid draining from your child’s ear and you do not suspect a ruptured eardrum, placing a few drops of room temperature or slightly warmed olive oil or sesame oil in the affected ear is very effective. Olive oil for toddler ear infections has been considered a valuable practice for many centuries.
Keep your toddler hydrated at all times. Frequent swallowing can help open the eustachian tube to drain the trapped liquid.
You should elevate the crib at the head side a bit as it can improve your baby’s sinus drainage. Be mindful that you should not be placing pillows under your baby’s head. It is better that you put a pillow or two under the mattress.
Homeopathic eardrops contain extracts of garlic, mullein, lavender, calendula, and St. John’s wort in olive oil may help relieve inflammation and pain.
Although many ear infections are hard to prevent, there are measures you can take to lessen your toddler’s risk.
Breastfeeding your baby for six to 12 months, if possible, is a great way to avoid infections. Antibodies in your milk can save your baby from ear infections and other medical conditions.
Protect your baby from exposure to derivative smoke, as it can make ear infections more severe and more frequent. It can also make your toddler’s condition worse.
If you are bottle-feeding your baby, hold them in a semi-upright position, so the formula does not flow back into the eustachian tubes.
Avoid exposing your baby to environments with cold and flu bugs. Therefore, if you or someone in your house is sick, wash your hands frequently to keep the germs away from your baby.
Ensure your baby’s immunizations are up-to-date, including flu shots and pneumococcal vaccines. It can help in preventing ear infections. Moreover, if your baby has been diagnosed with an ear infection and symptoms do not improve in 3 to 4 days, you need to visit the doctor.
These are some of the ways to ease and avoid ear infections. You can always consult professionals for effective results. Book an appointment with the best ENT specialist in Lahore through Marham for more information.
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