How Can I Tell If My Child Has An Ear Infection
Most ear infections happen to children before theyve learned how to talk. If your child isnt old enough to say My ear hurts, here are a few things to look for:
- Tugging or pulling at the ear
- Fussiness and crying
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Clumsiness or problems with balance
- Trouble hearing or responding to quiet sounds
Other Uses For This Medicine
Ceftriaxone injection is also sometimes used to treat sinus infections, endocarditis , chancroid , Lyme disease , relapsing fever , shigella , typhoid fever , salmonella , and Whipple’s disease . Ceftriaxone injection is also sometimes used to prevent infection in certain penicillin-allergic patients who have a heart condition and are having a dental or upper respiratory tract procedure, patients who have fever and are at high risk for infection because they have very few white blood cells, close contacts of someone who is sick with meningitis, and in people who have been sexually assaulted or who have been bitten by humans or animals. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Why Do Kids Get So Many Ear Infections
The NIH points to several reasons why kids are more likely to get ear infections:
- Childrens eustachian tubes are smaller and more level than those of adults. This means its harder for fluid to drain from the ear, so if a childs tubes get blocked by mucus from another respiratory infection, fluid may not drain properly.
- Childrens immune systems are still developing so it can be harder for them to fight infections.
- In children, if bacteria gets trapped in the adenoids , it can cause a chronic infection that gets passed to the eustachian tubes and middle ear.
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What Are Ototopical Antibiotics
Ototopical antibiotics are medications administered topically in the ear for treating middle ear infections. Ototopical antibiotics are usually the first-line treatment for recurrent bacterial ear infections, in the absence of systemic infection.
Ear infections are more common in children, and often clear up on their own. Most ear infections can be managed with warm compresses and pain management. Antibiotics are usually administered only for severe and persistent ear infections.
Cause Of Ear Infections
- A bacterial infection of the middle ear
- Blocked eustachian tube, usually as part of a common cold. The eustachian tube joins the middle ear to the back of the throat.
- Blockage results in middle ear fluid .
- If the fluid becomes infected , the fluid turns to pus. This causes the eardrum to bulge out and can cause a lot of pain.
- Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years. They are a common problem until age 8.
- The onset of ear infections is often on day 3 of a cold.
- How often do kids get ear infections? 90% of children have at least 1 ear infection. Frequent ear infections occur in 20% of children. Ear infections are the most common bacterial infection of young children.
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Do Ear Infections Clear Up On Their Own
Some ear infections may clear on their own. Middle ear infections are often cured by the bodys immune system when left alone. However, inner and outer infections may require medication. If patients are experiencing more than just the common symptoms of ear infections then they should seek medical attention.
Types Of Ear Infections
The most common type of ear infection is called acute otitis media .
AOM is more common in children because they have smaller eustachian tubes. Located between the middle ear and upper throat, these tubes are responsible for fluid drainage.
If this fluid doesnt drain, a buildup and infection may occur. Fluid trapped in the middle ear behind your eardrum may also cause:
Other common infections
Other common types of ear infections include:
- Otitis media with effusion . The infection has cleared up, but fluid may still be stuck in the middle ear.
- Chronic otitis media with effusion . Fluid continues to build up on a recurring basis despite the lack of infection. This chronic condition can lead to serious side effects, such as hearing loss .
- Swimmers ear : occurs in the outer ear when water becomes trapped and promotes bacterial growth in the ear canal.
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What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to ceftriaxone injection.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking ceftriaxone injection.
If you are diabetic and test your urine for sugar, use Clinistix or TesTape to test your urine while taking this medication.
Ceftriaxone injection may interfere with certain home blood glucose tests. If you test your blood glucose levels, check the instructions of your blood glucose monitoring system to see if ceftriaxone injection will affect your system. You may need to use a different method to test your glucose levels while you are receiving ceftriaxone injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
What Causes Ear Infections
The ear is organized into three structures, the outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer ear contains the outer structure, the auditory canal and the tympanic membrane .
The inner ear is an air-filled space that contains three small bones responsible for transferring vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. The inner ear is within the temporal bone and contains membranes and a solution which is responsible for sound transmission.
There are three types of ear infections:
- Acute otitis media: an infection of the middle ear
- Otitis media with effusion: an infection of the middle ear when fluid builds up causing an infection
- Swimmers ear: infection of the outer ear canal
Bacteria or viruses cause ear infections. The most common bacteria for ear infections include streptococcus pneumoniae and haemophilus influenzae. Viruses that cause the common cold can cause ear infections.
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When Do Children Need Tubes In Their Ears
If your child has frequent ear infections, or if they have trouble hearing because of ongoing fluid in the middle ear, they may need a tube inserted through the eardrum and into the middle ear. The tube helps to keep air pressure normal on both sides of the ear drum and helps fluid drain from the middle ear.
Putting tubes in requires a brief operation by an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Children can usually go home the same day.
When Is Treatment With Antibiotics Necessary For An Ear Infection
If your child is in a lot of pain, and the symptoms last more than a few days, your pediatrician will likely recommend a round of antibiotics. According to the AAFP, here are some of the circumstances where antibiotics are likely to be prescribed for an ear infection:
- Infants six months or younger.
- Babies ages six months to two years, who have moderate to severe ear pain.
- Children 2 years or older who have a fever of 102.2 or higher.
- Children with another condition that could make an infection harder to heal, including cleft palate, Down syndrome, immune disorders and cochlear implants.
What Are Complications Of Ear Infections
Complications of ear infections are uncommon with proper treatment. Complications may include:
- Hearing loss: usually temporary but may become permanent if the eardrum or middle ear structures are damaged
- Infection that spreads to nearby tissues, such as infection of the mastoid bone, which helps drain middle ear fluid
- Eardrum tears: most will heal on their own within a few days, though in some cases surgery is needed to repair it
- Speech or developmental delays in infants and toddlers if hearing is impaired
Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of These Symptoms Call Your Doctor Immediately:
- bloody, or watery stools, stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
- stomach tenderness, pain or bloating
- nausea and vomiting
- severe pain in the side and back below the ribs
- painful urination
- urinating more often than usual
- pink, brown, red, cloudy, or bad smelling urine
- swelling in legs and feet
- a return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
- peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- swelling of the throat or tongue
Ceftriaxone injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
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How Can I Prevent Ear Infections
The CDC offers several tips for reducing the risk factors that contribute to ear infections. These include:
- Staying up to date on childhood vaccines including the pneumococcal vaccine that helps protect against the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that can cause ear infections and the flu vaccine.
- Frequent handwashing by parents and caregivers
- Breastfeeding until at least 6 months passes on moms immunity to babies
- Avoid exposing your child to secondhand smoke
Babys first sick visit: its never fun, sometimes scary and often related to an ear infection. But dont worry if your pediatrician sends you home empty-handed at first. At Loudoun Pediatric Associates, well make sure your child gets what she needs in the case of an ear infection, whether its a round of antibiotics or a few days of rest and watchful waiting. Sometimes we need an antibiotic to give those germs the boot, but in other cases rest, fluids and lots of snuggles are the best prescription.
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Can Ear Infections Be Prevented
Currently, the best way to prevent ear infections is to reduce the risk factors associated with them. Here are some things you might want to do to lower your childs risk for ear infections.
- Vaccinate your child against the flu. Make sure your child gets the influenza, or flu, vaccine every year.
- It is recommended that you vaccinate your child with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine . The PCV13 protects against more types of infection-causing bacteria than the previous vaccine, the PCV7. If your child already has begun PCV7 vaccination, consult your physician about how to transition to PCV13. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children under age 2 be vaccinated, starting at 2 months of age. Studies have shown that vaccinated children get far fewer ear infections than children who arent vaccinated. The vaccine is strongly recommended for children in daycare.
- Wash hands frequently. Washing hands prevents the spread of germs and can help keep your child from catching a cold or the flu.
- Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Studies have shown that babies who are around smokers have more ear infections.
- Never put your baby down for a nap, or for the night, with a bottle.
- Dont allow sick children to spend time together. As much as possible, limit your childs exposure to other children when your child or your childs playmates are sick.
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Ear Infection And Vaccines
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Researchers continue to look for help for children and parents of children who suffer from the most common type of ear infection, called middle ear infection or otitis media .
About 62 percent of children in developed countries will have their first episode of OM by the age of one, more than 80 percent by their third birthday, and nearly 100 percent will have at least one episode by age five. In the U.S. alone, this illness accounts for 25 million office visits annually with direct costs for treatment estimated at $3 billion. Health economists add that when lost wages for parents are included, the total cost of estimated treatments mount to $6 billion.
This is a big problem.
How Does A Doctor Diagnose A Middle Ear Infection
The first thing a doctor will do is ask you about your childs health. Has your child had a head cold or sore throat recently? Is he having trouble sleeping? Is she pulling at her ears? If an ear infection seems likely, the simplest way for a doctor to tell is to use a lighted instrument, called an otoscope, to look at the eardrum. A red, bulging eardrum indicates an infection.
A doctor also may use a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a puff of air into the ear canal, to check for fluid behind the eardrum. A normal eardrum will move back and forth more easily than an eardrum with fluid behind it.
Tympanometry, which uses sound tones and air pressure, is a diagnostic test a doctor might use if the diagnosis still isnt clear. A tympanometer is a small, soft plug that contains a tiny microphone and speaker as well as a device that varies air pressure in the ear. It measures how flexible the eardrum is at different pressures.
Can You Treat An Ear Infection Without A Doctor
It is possible to treat some types of ear infections without help from a doctor. A middle ear infection may clear up on its own without going to the doctor. Outer ear and inner ear infections may require medical attention depending on the severity of the infection and the bodys ability to fight the infection. Common home remedies and treatments include the use of over-the-counter pain relievers, cold or warm compresses, changes in sleeping positions, and olive oil.
Who Shouldn’t Use Ear Drops
Ear drops can be helpful when treating an ear infection, but there are times when you shouldnt use them. For example, if you or your child has a perforated eardrum, you should avoid the use of certain ototoxic ear drops because fluid from the drops can get deep into the ear and cause more problems.
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How Is Rocephin Given
Take Rocephin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
Rocephin is injected into a muscle or as an infusion into a vein .
A healthcare provider will give you this injection when Rocephin is used to prevent infection from surgery.
You may be shown how to use the injection at home to treat an infection. Rocephin is sometimes given for up to 14 days.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don’t understand all instructions.
Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
An IV injection must be given slowly, and the infusion can take at least 30 minutes to complete.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Rocephin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Do not mix Rocephin in the same injection with other antibiotics, or with any diluent that contains calcium, including a TPN solution.
If you use other injectable medications, be sure to flush your intravenous catheter between injections of each medication.
Rocephin can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Rocephin.
What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Your healthcare provider will tell you how to store your medication. Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand how to store your medication properly.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
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When Not To Use Antibiotics
Antibiotics are not the correct choice for all infections. For example, most sore throats, cough and colds, flu, COVID or acute sinusitis are viral in origin and do not need an antibiotic. These viral infections are self-limiting, meaning that your own immune system will usually kick in and fight the virus off.
Using antibiotics for viral infections can increase the risk for antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cannot be fully inhibited or killed by an antibiotic, even though the antibiotic may have worked effectively before the resistance occurred. This can also lower your options for effective treatments if an antibiotic is needed eventually due to a secondary infection. Using unnecessary antibiotics also puts you at risk for side effects and adds extra cost.
It’s important not to share your antibiotic or take medicine that was prescribed for someone else, and don’t save an antibiotic to use the next time you get sick. It may not be the right drug for your illness.
To better understand antibiotics, its best to break them down into common infections, common antibiotics, and the top antibiotic classes as listed in Drugs.com.