Acute otitis media in children, diagnosis and treatment
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Acute otitis media is a common condition in children, especially those between the ages of 2 and 3 years. Almost all children experience at least one episode of acute otitis when they are young. By the age of 7 anisors, over 93% of children suffer from this condition, which is treated with antibiotics, but which, if left undiagnosed, can cause serious complications!
What is acute average otitis and what are the causes?
Acute otitis media is characterized by inflammation of the middle ear, an area that favors the occurrence of frequent infections because, in the small ones, the Eustachio tube, the channel that connects the middle ear with the pharyngeal cavity, is shorter and more horizontal. The causes of otitis media are either viral (in over 40% of cases), caused by viruses, either bacteriological, caused by bacteria.
There are more risk factors which predispose the child to acute otitis media:
- acute or chronic rhinopharyngitis;
- acute or chronic sinusitis;
- allergic rhinitis;
- sex (boys have higher risks than girls);
- brothers with recurrent otitis;
- passive smoking;
- collectives (kindergarten, school);
- low immunity or diseases related to immunity;
- acute adenoiditis;
- Rhino-pharyngeal tumors;
- the deviations of seven;
- infectious diseases, etc.
What are the symptoms of acute otitis media in children?
In the case of many children, the disease may be asymptomatic or the only signs that could be suspected of being an infection may be the child's complaints about pain in the ear area.
- local pain or discomfort (at ear level);
- hearing loss;
- acute respiratory infection;
- pus leakage from the ear;
- bent eardrum, inflamed with a slightly yellow color.
How to diagnose acute otitis media in children?
The diagnosis of acute otitis media is established only by the pediatric doctor. If the child complains of pain or discomfort in the ear, it is advisable to take him to the office, where he will be given a thorough check.
The diagnosis is based on an examination that includes the investigation and careful observation of the ear, with the help of an otoscope, but also the analysis of the associated local symptoms (redness, signs of inflammation, etc.).
If the pus is secreted in the ear, the doctor will take a sample to be tested in the laboratory. This test will also determine the type of infection - viral or bacterial - that is the basis of the outbreak of the disease.
The doctor may also use tympanometry to diagnose the disease by measuring the pressure of the tympanic membrane.
How is acute otitis media treated in children?
The treatment for the cure of acute otitis media in children is based on several criteria - the stage of evolution, the age of the child, the way the hearing is affected, the risk factors for the little one, etc.
Antibiotics are the main treatment in the cure of the disease, especially when the otitis is in an advanced stage. The doctor will prescribe a prescription with the right antibiotics for the little one, in personalized doses and, if there is very high pain or a high fever, he will recommend the administration of analgesics or antipyretics, in a first phase.
It is important that the antibiotic treatment be completed, even if the symptoms disappear after one, two days, because only in this way a possible relapse is prevented and the infection is completely cured.
If an acute respiratory fibrosis has triggered the infection, the doctor will recommend therapeutic measures to cure it.
It is not recommended to warm the affected ear or to introduce various substances or liquids, baby cures, because they can complicate the infection.
What complications can occur?
- brain abscess;
- permanent perforation;
- hearing loss;
- paralysis of the facial nerve, etc.
The opinion of the specialist
Although most parents associate the otitis with the cold season, their incidence during the summer is quite high, mainly due to the visits to the pool. The condition is also favored by mechanical factors, such as cleaning with the help of sanitary napkins that, used incorrectly, can cause more serious problems of the hearing system.
Constant pain in the ear area, diminished hearing, elimination of unusual fluids in the eare are the first signs of an acute otitis media.
Armand Agache, ORL primary physician at Life Memorial Hospital in Bucharest was interviewed by HotNews about this condition, which is attended by both adults and children of all ages.
He listed, among the factors that favor the occurrence of otitis, the common colds not treated or improperly treated, polyps and sinusitis, but also deviations of nasal septum and rhinitis.
The doctor emphasized the incorrect treatment of otitis, "by ear" or pharmacists' recommendations, without prior visit to a specialized medical office. Automedicamentatia she also falls into this category, precisely because uneducated parents in the medical field may miss certain signs of worsening acute childhood otitis, such as prolonged febrile conditions, nasal secretions in yellow or green shades, or unusual ear leaks.
Considering that we are in the summer season, the doctor also wanted to specify that the otitis can also occur after the visits to the pool, one of the carers either does not pay enough attention to the hygiene, or they use excessive disinfectants and either of these two situations can be harmful to the sensitive ears of children.
With regard to cleaning the ears with the help of chinks, the doctor Armand Agache is against this method, precisely because the ear has a self-cleaning system. Moreover, he argues that excess water or direct use of the shower for cleaning the ears should be avoided, as well as the use of soap. As for the use of chopsticks, this should be superficial, as well as remove excess water from the ears, but it would be best to replace them with a clean towel or a soft, absorbent cotton cloth.
Otitis and other infections
According to the doctor Armand Agache, dental infections favor the appearance of otitis, but they are not directly responsible for this. But they are more dangerousnose infections, also known as law rhinosinusitis. Because of the fact that he enters nose, ear, sinuses and throat there are no blockages, an infection in any of these areas can generate another through communication.
Found at the beginning and treated properly, otitis can have no complications. Fluid aspiration, administration of local anti-inflammatories and local antibiotics, as well as antihistamine and anti-inflammatory drugs under close physician supervision should work within a very short time and restore ear health. In case of complications, they will be treated surgically.
Complications of acute otitis treated inappropriately
An acute otitis untreated or treated incorrectly can become chronic. Chronic otitis media can lead to diminishing or even hearing loss, to repeated episodes of local infections, brain infections, cavernous sinus thrombosis or other similar serious complications that can sometimes become fatal.
Medium ear suppuration can lead to perforation of the eardrum and its membrane, which will culminate in hearing loss. The eardrum membrane can be reconstructed by surgical methods. The mastoid or the mastoid bone may in turn be affected, in which case the brain and nervous system may suffer; one of the gloomy scenarios is brain abscess in this case.
In addition, acute otitis media can lead to other complications, such as facial nerve resemblance, respectively immobilization of the hemifetus.
Medium otitis causes constant and unbearable pain in the ear area. Treated without the doctor's recommendation and without his supervision, the otitis can degenerate seriously. Medium otitis is characterized by inflammation of the eardrum and its small house. The persistent pain and discomfort of this area and the fluid leakage inside the ear should be monitored by the parents and communicated by the pediatric doctor or the ENT emergency, in order to determine the nature and intensity of the otitis, respectively to administer an appropriate treatment.
Doctor Armand Agache insists that the symptoms can sometimes be unnoticeable, especially in the case of children, who do not always know how to tell them what hurts and in what way. Therefore, regular visits to the doctor are necessary for monitoring the general health of the children and for taking appropriate measures, if any.
Has your little one ever had acute otitis media? How did you find out and what steps did you take? Tell us your opinions and suggestions in the comments section below!
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Tags Otitis children Ear infections Children otitis