Early Childhood Ear Infections

Chronic ear infections are a common problem in young children. There are many factors that can contribute to a child's predisposition for ear infections, including daycare attendance, other young siblings at home and exposure to tobacco smoke. While some lifestyle choices such as breastfeeding, not bottle-feeding after age one and pneumococcal vaccination may aid in reducing the frequency of ear infections, there are many children who suffer from this common ailment.

Young children experiencing 3 or more ear infections in a twelve month period should be seen by a specialist. One of the most common treatments for chronic ear infections in young children is the placement of tubes, also called tympanostomy. Once the tubes are placed, the inner ear can drain as needed and should require fewer courses of antibiotics. The tubes simply fall out as the child outgrows the need for them and the frequency of infections naturally declines.

Complications resulting from chronic ear infections can include perforation of the tympanic membrane, cholesteatoma, cholesterol granuloma, mastoiditis and erosion of the structures of the inner ear. Evaluation by a specialist is necessary in order to treat and prevent these conditions before they cause additional damage or further reduce the child's ability to hear.

If your child or loved one is suffering from frequent ear infections, please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.