Ear And Eye Infections In Children 101
Did you know at least four in every five children have an ear or eye infections by the time they turn three? Ear and eye infections are the common reason why parents seek pediatric urgent care. Although the infections may appear ordinary, they arent and they can be a source of great discomfort in children. It is important to have the necessary information to prevent infections in children.
Why Ear And Eye Infections Common In Children Than Adults
The infections are common because partly their immune system is still developing and they cant fight the virus or bacteria.
Most importantly, ear infections are frequent in kids because their bodies are still developing. Their Eustachian tubes are small and almost to the ground, and they cant drain properly. When they have a cold, the tubes can fill with mucus and swell, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.
What Causes Vestibular Dysfunction
Vestibular dysfunction is caused by damage to the vestibular system by disease, viral infection, high doses of certain antibiotics, stroke, degeneration of the inner ears balance function, blows to the head or some other unspecified cause. This results in a series of symptoms that impact all aspects of daily living.
If the system is damaged, vestibular disorders can result in one or more of these symptoms:
- Dizziness and vertigo
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How Can You Tell If Pink Eye Is Bacterial Or Viral
Although the symptoms of pink eye can be the same regardless of cause, your healthcare provider uses a few signs to help determine if pink eye is bacterial or viral:
- Age: Viruses cause most cases of pink eye in adults. Bacteria and viruses each cause about the same number of pink eye infections in children.
- Ear infection: If your child has bacterial conjunctivitis, its common for them to also have an ear infection at the same time.
- Amount of discharge: A lot of discharge from your eye is usually a sign of a bacterial infection.
- Color or tint of the whites of eye: Salmon color may be a sign of a viral infection. A reddish color is more likely to be a bacterial conjunctivitis.
- If its in one or both eyes: If you have pink eye thats in both eyes, a virus is probably causing it.
Common Springtime Causes Of Ear And Eye Infections
Spring is here, bringing with it warm weather, sunny skies, and, unfortunately, seasonal allergies and infections. As we welcome in the new season, be on the lookout for these common springtime ear and eye infections, what causes them, and when you should seek treatment:
Common Ear Infections in the Spring:
- Swimmers ear: The warmer weather might have you searching for a swimsuit for your first beach and pool trips of the season. Swimming in lakes, oceans and pools, however, can lead to otitis externa, or swimmers ear. This happens when you retain water in your outer ear, which can create a warm and wet environment for bacteria to thrive in. If you show even minor symptoms of swimmers ear, including itching in your ear canal, redness inside your ear or mild discomfort made worse by pulling on your outer ear, visit a health care provider as soon as possible.
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- Clogged/stuffy ears: Rising temperatures can cause changes in barometric pressure, and mixed with seasonal allergies, this can lead to your body producing histamine antibodies. When histamines are released, an increase in mucus production can build up and lead to feelings of fullness and pressure in your ears. Luckily, you can find over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants in most drugstores, which can offer relief for any built-up pressure.
Common Eye Conditions in the Spring:
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Can Pink Eye Come Back
Pink eye can come back, especially if you have allergy-related pink eye. Every time youre in contact with the allergen , your eyes may react.
If you have bacterial or viral pink eye, you can also accidentally reinfect yourself. To avoid coming down with another case of contagious pink eye:
- Wash your bed linens, pillowcases, towels and washcloths in hot water and detergent. Change them frequently.
- Avoid wearing eye makeup until the infection goes away. Throw out old eye makeup and any makeup used just before the start of the infection.
- Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Clean your glasses often.
- Throw away disposable contact lenses. Thoroughly clean extended wear lenses and all eyewear cases. Use only sterile contact solution. Wash your hands before inserting or removing lenses.
- If youve used eye drops for an infected eye, dont use the same eye drops in a non-infected eye.
How To Treat A Stye
Treatment for a stye centers around clearing the blockage from your infected oil gland.
To treat a stye yourself, the Academy of American Ophthalmology recommends you apply clean, warm compresses to the area. Do this for 15-minute intervals up to five times per day. Dont try to squeeze or pop the stye.
If the stye doesnt go away after a few days, see a doctor. They may need to prescribe an antibiotic. In some cases, an eye doctor needs to drain a stye to remove it. Dont attempt this yourself, as you could permanently damage your vision.
Speak to a doctor if youre concerned about a stye thats not going away.
Taking good care of your eyes can help you prevent eye infections. Here are some tips to help you avoid both styes and pink eye:
- Wash your hands often, especially if you work with young children or take care of animals.
- Wash off eye makeup at the end of each day with an oil-free makeup remover.
- Wash your face with warm water at the end of each day.
- Wash your bedding frequently, especially your pillows.
- Dont share items that touch your eyes, including towels, washcloths, and cosmetics.
See a doctor for an eye infection that doesnt appear to be improving after 48 hours of symptoms. Other signs you need to see a doctor include:
- The person who has the infection is younger than 5 years old.
- Your vision is impaired in any way.
- You notice green or yellow pus coming from your infected eye.
- Any area of your eye begins to change colors beyond a light red or pink tinge.
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Should I Go To The Doctor For Pink Eye
You dont necessarily need to see a doctor for pink eye. Most of the time, you can treat the symptoms at home until it goes away on its own. But you should never hesitate to call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
Some symptoms can be a sign of a serious problem, such as an ulcer, which can result in permanent vision loss. Call your healthcare provider or seek medical care right away if you experience:
- An increase in sensitivity to light, especially if its severe.
- Feeling like there is something stuck in your eye.
- Large amount of discharge from your eyes.
- Worsening symptoms.
What Causes Pink Eye
The pink or reddish color of pink eye happens when the blood vessels in the membrane covering your eye gets inflamed, making them more visible. Causes of inflammation include:
- Viruses. Viruses are the most common cause of pink eye. Coronaviruses, such as the common cold or COVID-19, are among the viruses that can cause pink eye.
- Bacteria. Common types of bacteria that cause bacterial conjunctivitis include Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
- Allergens. This includes molds, pollen or other substances that cause allergies.
- Irritating substances. This includes shampoos, cosmetics, contact lenses, dirt, smoke and pool chlorine.
- Sexually transmitted infections . A virus or bacteria can cause STIs. STIs can cause pink eye in both adults and newborns.
- A foreign object in your eye.
- Blocked or incompletely opened tear ducts in babies.
- Autoimmune conditions. Diseases that cause your own immune system to overreact are a rare cause of pink eye.
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Treating Eye Infections With Osteopathy
Eye infections make themselves known very quickly and some are highly contagious. Symptoms include:
- Whites of the eyes tinted pink or red
- Discharge from the eye
Many people react well to antibiotic solutions intended to clear up eye infections like pink eye or a stye, others react poorly and end up in even greater discomfort. Rather than test out treatments on your precious eyes, its better to get the advice of a doctor who can help right away and protect you from further potential discomfort or problems.
A doctor of osteopathy will examine whats going on with your eye, but also identify the root cause of the issue. For an eye infection like pink eye, for example, also known as conjunctivitis, the drainage to the eye may become impaired. This means there is a problem with the lymphatic and arterial-venous systems, and they need to be treated to clear up the infection and prevent it from repeating. Many doctors of osteopathy can treat even the most aggressive eye infections without antibiotics.
Corneal Ulcers In Dogs
The cornea is the transparent, shiny membrane that makes up the front of the eyeball. With a corneal ulcer, fluid is absorbed from the tears into the stroma, giving a cloudy appearance to the eye. The most common cause of a corneal ulcer is trauma. Less common causes of corneal ulcers include bacterial infections, viral infections, and other diseases.
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When Should I Call The Doctor About An Ear Infection
- You or your child develops a stiff neck.
- Your child acts sluggish, looks or acts very sick, or does not stop crying despite all efforts.
- Your childs walk is not steady he or she is physically very weak.
- You or your childs ear pain is severe.
- You or your child has a fever over 104Â° F .
- Your child is showing signs of weakness in their face .
- You see bloody or pus-filled fluid draining from the ear.
- The fever remains or comes back more than 48 hours after starting an antibiotic.
- Ear pain is not better after three days of taking an antibiotic.
- Ear pain is severe.
- You have any questions or concerns.
How Adenoviruses Spread
These viruses are common in places with large groups of kids, such as day care centers, schools, and summer camps.
Theyâre very contagious. They can spread when someone who’s infected coughs or sneezes. Droplets containing the virus fly into the air and land on surfaces.
Your child can catch the virus when they touch the hand of someone who has it or a toy or other object held by someone who has it and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. It spreads quickly with children because theyâre more likely to put their hands on their face and in their mouths.
You can get infected when you change a diaper. You also can get sick from eating food prepared by someone who didn’t wash their hands properly after going to the bathroom. Itâs possible to catch the virus in water, like in small lakes or a swimming pool that isnât well maintained, but this doesnât happen often.
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How Is Pinkeye Treated
Pinkeye caused by a virus usually goes away without any treatment. Pinkeye caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment.
It can be hard to get kids to tolerate eye drops several times a day. If you’re having trouble, put the drops on the inner corner of your child’s closed eye when your child opens the eye, the medicine will flow into it. If you still have trouble with drops, ask the doctor about antibiotic ointment, which can be placed in a thin layer where the eyelids meet, and will melt and enter the eye.
If your child has allergic conjunctivitis, your doctor may prescribe anti-allergy medicine, either as pills, liquid, or eye drops.
Can Pinkeye Be Prevented
Infectious conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so teach kids to wash their hands well and often with warm water and soap. They also should not share eye drops, tissues, eye makeup, washcloths, towels, or pillowcases.
Be sure to wash your own hands well after touching an infected child’s eyes, and throw away items like gauze or cotton balls after they’ve been used. Wash towels and other linens that the child has used in hot water separately from the rest of the family’s laundry to avoid contamination.
If you know your child is prone to allergic conjunctivitis, keep windows and doors closed on days when the pollen is heavy, and dust and vacuum often to limit allergy triggers. Irritant conjunctivitis can only be prevented by avoiding the irritating causes.
Screening and treating pregnant women for STDs can prevent many cases of pinkeye in newborns. A pregnant woman may have bacteria in her birth canal even if she shows no symptoms, which is why prenatal screening is important.
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Covid Can Cause Strange Eye And Ear Symptoms
From conjunctivitis to vertigo, coronavirus infections can affect disparate senses
Red eyes, ringing ears, sensitivity to light, trouble hearing: although a loss of taste and smell have become well-known sensory symptoms of COVID, accumulating research suggests that vision and hearing are also frequent targets of SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes the disease.
More than 10 percent of people who get COVID develop some type of eye or ear symptom, according to the latestdata, and both categories are among the complaints that can end up persisting for a long time. As researchers work to understand how the virus infiltrates our senses, their findings suggest that people may need to broaden the scope of warning signs for when to get tested. Instead of just a fever, cough or changes in taste and smell, the first signs of illness might include irritated eyes, hearing problems or balance issues.
Nearly two years into the pandemic, research on COVIDs effects on the eyes and ears suggests that scientists have much more to learn about how the virus affects our bodies and nervous systems, experts say. The data are growing to suggest that there are more neural consequences of this infection than we originally thought, says Lee Gehrke, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
How Is Otitis Interna Treated
Otitis interna is a very serious condition. If your dog is unable to eat or drink normally due to nausea or disorientation, then hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy is generally warranted. Nausea must be controlled and dehydration avoided. It may also be necessary to sedate or anesthetize your dog in order to adequately see the ear tissues, take samples for bacterial culture, and appropriately clean the ear.
Treatment of the underlying infection is very important, and your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate medications. Medications will be administered directly in the ear and orally. Antibiotics will be used for a bacterial infection for 6-8 weeks minimum. If the infection is fungal in nature, an anti-fungal medication will be prescribed. Whatever medications are chosen, it is critical that they be given precisely as prescribed.
âIf your dog has an altered balance, restrict his activity during treatment to prevent falling injuries.â
If your dog has an altered balance, restrict his activity during treatment to prevent falling injuries. These dogs should not have access to stairs as they may take a tumble. You may also need to hand feed your dog temporarily â reaching down into a dish may stimulate nausea.
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Can Ear Infection In Dogs Cause Deafness
Left untreated, ear infections rarely get better on their own. Rather, an untreated infection rages on, painfully causing potentially serious and irreversible damage to your dogâs ears, including full or partial deafness.
Conjunctivitis occurs when there is inflammation surrounding the tissue that covers the eye. Swollen eyes in dogs are a common symptom of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can affect either one eye or both eyes. A viral or bacterial infection will usually lead to both eyes being affected and swollen.
What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose Pink Eye
While not common, if your provider thinks bacteria is causing pink eye or if the infection is severe, they may want to do testing. Theyll use a soft-tipped stick to collect secretions from around your eye, then send the sample to a lab. The lab will run tests to find out whats causing your pink eye.
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What Is Pink Eye
Pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that lines the inside surface of your eyelid and outer coating of your eye. This tissue helps keep your eyelid and eyeball moist. You can get pink eye from viruses, bacteria, allergens and other causes.
The medical name for pink eye is conjunctivitis. You can get pink eye in one or both eyes.
What Causes Ear And Eye Infections In Toddlers
Viruses and bacteria are the primary causes of both ear and eye infections in children. The ear infections will occur when the bacteria and viruses accumulate in the middle of the year. Eye infections, on the other hand, are caused by a virus and are usually as a result of a common cold. Bacterial eye infections can still occur, but they are more serious than the viral ones as they can cause yellow discharge.
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