Earaches in Children
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Next to the common cold, earaches are the most common childhood ailment in the United States. More than three out of four kids have had at least one ear infection by the time they reach 3 years of age. Dr. Edward Hill discusses earaches in children in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Earaches commonly happen when the ear canal becomes blocked, which keeps fluid from draining out of the canal. Fluid in the middle ear provides a good place for an infection to start.

The ear canals can become blocked because of allergies, a cold or other infection.

Acute ear infections usually clear up in one or two weeks. Sometimes, ear infections last longer and become chronic. After an infection, fluid may stay in the middle ear. This may lead to more infections and hearing loss.

The most common symptoms of an acute ear infection are ear pain and fever. If your child is too young to tell you what hurts, he or she may cry and fuss.

Middle ear infections and fluid in the ear are the most common causes of temporary hearing loss in children. Children who have ongoing problems with hearing may have trouble developing their speech and language skills. For this reason, it is important to talk with your doctor if your child has repeated ear infections.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.