Parenting can certainly bring its fair share of challenges, and for anyone who has young children, visits to the doctor can often seem to be a struggle. Each year, tens of millions of kids contract with ear infections, and many times they occur so regularly that parents get on a first name basis with the office staff.
An ear infection can really make your child feel miserable. In the past the course of treatment was often a round of oral antibiotics. However, nowadays, many doctors hold off on prescribing antibiotics right away, especially where it is suspected that the cause of the ear is a virus instead of bacteria. Repeated exposure to antibiotics can build up your child's resistance to those drugs over time making them less effective when they really need them. It is often possible to treat your child’s ear infection at home and watch for symptoms to improve or worsen over 24 hours.
Ear infections are very common among children. Almost 16 million kids will visit a doctor each year with an ear infection and more than 80 percent of all kids will be diagnosed with at least one middle-ear infection before they are three-years old. It is important to know how to recognize ear infection symptoms, especially in infants and young children who may not be able to tell you what they are feeling.
An occasional ear infection is nothing to be overly concerned about. However, if your child has more than three ear infections within six months or four ear infections within a year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends taking your child to see an ENT specialist.