One out of two children will suffer from otitis media (an infection of the middle ear) by 1 year of age. And three out of four children will have an ear infection by age 5. Fortunately, this infection is easily treated.
When a child has otitis media, fluid may collect in the middle ear space. This can cause pressure against the eardrum, as well as pain and discomfort. Children with colds, flu or allergies often develop an ear infection.
Symptoms of an ear infection include:
- Ear pain.
- Pulling or rubbing of the ear.
- Weakness and disinterest in play or other activity.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Problems with hearing.
Call your doctor right away if you think your child has an ear infection. The doctor will treat the infection with antibiotics, and may suggest pain relievers. Most of the time, if the infection is treated right away, the child's hearing will return to normal.