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Middle ear infections


Middleearinfection(calledotitismedia)isaninfectionbehindtheeardrum.Earinfectionsarevery commonandareusuallypainful.Bytheageofsix,mostchildrenhavegrownoutofmiddleear infectionsandarenotlikelytosufferlong-termproblems. There are several symptoms of ear infection Infectioncancause: Earache-mildtoseverepainintheearorface Fever-ahightemperaturemightbetheonlysymptominbabiesoryoungchildren Milddeafness-causedbyfluidwhichbuildsupfromtheinfection Eardischarge-thishappenswhentheeardrumburstsbecauseofpressurebehindit.

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Somemiddleearinfectionsleadtotheconditionknownasglue ear.Thisiswhenthickfluidinthe middleearcausesslightdeafness.Thisisnotpermanentbutmayneedtreatment. Children usually recover quickly Childrenusuallyrecoverfrommildinfectionsinthreetofivehours,althoughyourchildmayfeel tiredafterwards.Childrenwithglueearusuallyrecoverinafewweeksafterthefluidhasdrained away. Infections are caused by a virus or bacteria Middleearinfectionsareusuallycausedbyaviralorbacterialinfectionandoftenhappenduringor afterachildhasacold. Treating middle ear infection Mildcasesofinfectioncanbetreatedquicklywithparacetamol(forexample,Panadol,Dymadon, Tempra).Donotgiveregularparacetamolmedicineformorethan24hourswithoutseekingadvice fromyourdoctor.Itwillhelpifyouraisetheheadofyourchild'sbed. When to see your doctor Seeyourdoctorifyourchild: Hasahighfeverorbadearache Hasaneardischargethatlastsmorethan24hours Continuestohavefeverorbadearachetwodays(48hours)aftertheystarttreatment Stillseemstohavetroublehearingafter6to8weeks Seemstobegettingworseoryouareworriedatanytime.

If antibiotics are prescribed - finish the course Inmoreseverecasestakeyourchildtoadoctorwhomayprescribeantibiotics.Ifantibioticsare prescribeditisimportantthatyourchildfinishesthemedicineaccordingtotheinstructions(usually forfivetosevendays).Yourchildmustkeeptakingthemedicineeveniftheyseembetteraftera dayortwo. Yourdoctormayoccasionallyprescribeeardrops.Othermedications,suchasdecongestantsdo nothelpmiddleearinfections. Where to get help Yourdoctor NurseonCallTel.1300606024forexperthealthinformationandadvice(24hours,7 days) RoyalChildren'sHospitalTel.(03)93455522

Middleearinfections

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Yourmaternalandchildhealthnurse Yourlocalhospitalemergencyorcasualtydepartment. 24hourMaternalandChildHealthTelephoneService:Tel.132229forthecostofalocal callthroughoutVictoria.

Things to remember

Earinfectionsareverycommonandusuallypainful Earinfectionsdonotusuallycauselongtermproblems Ifthedoctorprescribesmedicine,itisimportantyourchildfinishesthewholecourse.

This page has been produced in consultation with, and approved by:

DHS-ChildrenYouth&Families

Copyight 1999/2009StateofVictoria.ReproducedfromtheBetterHealthChannel(www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au)at nocostwithpermissionoftheVictorianMinisterforHealth.Unauthorisedreproductionandotherusescomprisedinthe copyrightareprohibitedwithoutpermission. ThisBetterHealthChannelfactsheethaspassedthrougharigorousapprovalprocess.Forthelatestupdatesandmore informationvisitwww.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.

Middleearinfections

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