Pediatricians may offer new advice on treating earaches
Ear infections, especially in kids can be pretty scary. The high-pitched wail, fever and irritability might compel some parents to dash off to the doctor’s office asking for meds. But how do you know if you need to see the doctor or maybe just treat it at home?
Your physician may have recommendations for you based on newly released guidelines from a major pediatric organization.
The new advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges physicians to use stricter measures when diagnosing ear infections to ensure that antibiotics are absolutely necessary and the right medication is prescribed. But long-term use of antibiotics is discouraged.
While there are different types of ear infections, the most common is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum.
The Eustachian tube runs from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat. This tube drains fluid normally made in the middle ear. If the Eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up. This can lead to infection. Ear infections are common in infants and children, because the Eustachian tubes become easily clogged.
The AAP guidelines also include new recommendations for administering pain relievers based on the age of the children and how serious the infection might be. The AAP last issued guidelines in 2004.
Health experts recommend that parents check with their pediatrician or primary care physician if they suspect their child has an ear infection. For more information regarding ear infection visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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