The signs and symptoms of ear infections in babies include:
- Signs of irritability
- This is a very common sign, which most parents will immediately realize that something is troubling the baby.
- An irritated child is very restless and will neither sleep nor eat. However, remember that other ailments can also be a cause of irritability.
- The baby cries more if put to sleep
- The eustachian tube connects the ear to the throat and works to equalize the pressure in the middle ear.
- In the case of an infection, there is a swelling in the eustachian tube, which does not allow equalization of pressure. The increase or buildup of pressure in the middle ear causes additional discomfort or pain.
- When the baby is lying on its back, the pressure on the eustachian tube increases.
- This is one of the indicators that the baby has an ear infection.
- Keeps tugging their ears
- When a baby starts pulling its ears, there could be something that is bothering them.
- If the ear pulling is also accompanied by crying, the chances of ear infection are high.
- Parents should note that tugging or pulling of the ears can also be due to discomfort caused by teething. If in doubt, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician.
- Unpleasant smell from the baby’s ears
- If the baby emits an unpleasant odor from the ears, that is confirmation of an ear infection.
- The buildup of pus results in a foul and unpleasant smell.
- Discharge from the baby’s ears
- Discharge from the ears is another confirmation of ear infection in babies.
- If you notice a yellowish or white liquid draining from the ears, it is a sign of eardrum perforation.
- Eardrum perforation or a hole through which the accumulated liquid is oozing out.
- There is no need to panic because the eardrum will heal, or the hole will close by itself after the infection heals.
- Does not respond to sounds
- The baby may not respond to the usual sounds.
- This is because of the blockage in the ears, which is due to the accumulation of fluid caused by the infection in the ears.
- The blockage does not allow the sound waves to travel to the inner ear.
- The hearing loss may be temporary, with the baby responding and hearing normally once the blockage opens up.
- Reduced appetite or diarrhea
What are the treatment options for ear infections in babies?
- Experts recommend using analgesics, such as acetaminophen, for pain relief because they can ease the pain and help relieve other symptoms, such as fever.
- You may also give Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen), though read and follow all the instructions on the label, as well as follow your doctor's advice on the dosage required for your child.
A few remedies
- Help your child rest by arranging quiet play.
- Request the doctor for ear drops if the child is irritable and fussy.
- The pediatrician may prescribe an oral antibiotic or antibiotic ear drops.
- Ice packs (wrapped in a cloth or towel) or warm compresses placed on the outer ear can help relieve pain due to infections.
- Keep it in place for about 20 minutes on and off and repeat every few hours throughout the day.
- Some see relief with heat and others with ice.
- Some people alternate heat with cold.
- Make sure the packs are not too cold or too hot.
- Keep your child upright when not sleeping, since lying down can increase pressure in the ear, which increases the pain.
- Keep your child hydrated with extra water or other fluids.
The doctor may also prescribe
- For children with glue ears, grommets (tubes) may be inserted to prevent fluid from accumulating in the middle ear, which helps restore the child’s hearing.
- If your child has had recurrent ear infections, they may need a hearing test.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. Ear infections in babies and children. https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/ear-infections-in-babies-and-children
Canadian Paediatric Society. Ear-infections. https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/health-conditions-and-treatments/ear_infections
Top How Do You Know if Your Baby Has an Ear Infection Related Articles
Ear Infections: All About Ear ConditionsWhat's that? I can't hear you. Maybe it's tinnitus, or impacted ear wax, or cauliflower ear (yup, that's a thing). Find out what may be ailing your ears in this slideshow.
amoxicillinAmoxicillin is an antibiotic that belongs to a class of antibiotics called penicillins. Common infections that amoxicillin is used to treat include middle ear infections, tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, skin, gonorrhea, and urinary tract infections. Common side effects of amoxicillin include nausea, itching, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, and easy bruising. Amoxicillin is generally considered safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, Augmentin XR, Augmentin ES-600, Amoclan)Amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (Augmentin Amoclan, Augmentin XR, Augmentin ES-600) is an antibiotic used to treat middle ear infections, sore throat, sinus infection, bronchitis, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. Side effects include abdominal discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, gas, headache, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.
Can an Inner Ear Infection Cause Vertigo?Vertigo, a sensation of feeling off balance, can be a symptom of an inner ear infection or other disorder. Learn more about vertigo, its causes, and treatments.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)Middle ear infection (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Babies, toddlers, and children with a middle ear infection may be irritable, pull and tug at their ears, and experience numerous other symptoms and signs. Treatment depends upon the type of ear infection.
Ear Infection Home Treatment
Infections of the outer, middle, and inner ear usually are caused by viruses. Most outer (swimmer's ear) and middle ear (otitis media) infections can be treated at home with remedies like warm compresses for ear pain relief, tea tree, ginger, or garlic oil drops.
Symptoms of an outer ear (swimmer's ear) and middle ear infection include mild to severe ear pain, pus draining from the ear, swelling and redness in the ear, and hearing problems. Middle and inner ear infections may cause fever, and balance problems. Inner ear infections also may cause nausea, vomiting, vertigo, ringing in the ear, and labyrinthitis (inflammation of the inner ear).
Most outer and middle ear infections do not need antibiotics. Inner ear infections should be treated by a doctor specializing in ear and hearing problems.
Ear Infection QuizIs it possible to prevent ear infections? Take the Ear Infection (Otitis Media) Quiz to learn the risks, causes, symptoms and treatments for the common ear infection.
How Do You Get Rid of an Inner Ear Infection Without Antibiotics?What Is an Inner Ear Infection? Learn whether you need antibiotics and what other treatments can help to relieve your symptoms.
How Do You Comfort a Sick Baby?Babies commonly get six to eight colds per year. Comfort a sick baby by using saline nasal spray with suction, increasing humidity, giving warm fluids, heaving them sleep on an incline and using medications for pain and fever as advised by your pediatrician.
How Long Do Babies Have Their Mother’s Immune System?Babies can enjoy extended protection from their mother's immune systems for a great deal longer if they are breastfed.
Inner Ear Infection (Symptoms, Signs, Treatments, Home Remedies)An inner ear infection or otitis interna is caused by viruses or bacteria and can occur in both adults and children. An inner ear infection can cause symptoms and signs, for example, a severe ear, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, and vertigo. An inner ear infection also may cause inflammation of the inner ear or labyrinthitis. Inner ear infections are not contagious; however, the bacteria and viruses that cause the infection can be transmitted to other people. Good hygiene practices will help decrease the chances of the infection spreading to others. Inner ear infection symptoms and signs like ear pain and nausea may be relieved with home remedies or over the counter (OTC) medication. Some inner ear infections will need to be treated and cured with antibiotics or prescription pain or antinausea medication.
Inner Ear Infection (Labyrinthitis)
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth (the part of the ear responsible for balance and hearing). Doctors do not know the exact cause of labyrinthitis; however, they often are associated viral infections of the inner ear. Symptoms of labyrinthitis are ear pain or earache, ear discharge, problems with balance and walking, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Viral infections associated with labyrinthitis are contagious.
Home remedies may help labyrinthitis symptoms and signs. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication may treat inner ear infections, labyrinthitis symptoms like vertigo and nausea, and help ear pain.
Which Antibiotic Is Best for An Ear Infection?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.