Pediatric Ear Infections

Pediatric Ear Infections

Pediatric Ear infections are common, especially middle ear infections. They typically occur in infants and children when the ear doesn’t properly drain after a cold or flu. The fluid builds up and causes bacteria to grow. Middle ear infections can clear up on their own, but medical attention is needed for infants younger than six months. Children older than six months should also see a doctor if symptoms persist longer than a day. Ear infections in children might need to be treated with antibiotics. To read more about ear infections, click here.

Middle Ear Infection: Overview

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What Are Ear Infection Symptoms?

In infants and toddlers look for:

  • pulling or scratching at the ear, especially if accompanied by the following
  • hearing problems
  • crying, irritability, trouble sleeping
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • ear drainage

Middle Ear Infection: Symptoms

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In young children, adolescents, and adults look for:

  • earache
  • feeling of fullness or pressure
  • hearing problems
  • dizziness, loss of balance
  • nausea, vomiting
  • ear drainage
  • fever

Signs of persistent middle ear fluid:

  • Delayed speech and language
  • Poor articulation, often leaving off the beginning and end of the word
  • Hearing loss, not responding appropriately to sound
  • Tugging at ears
  • Crying more than usual
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Balance difficulties
  • Ear drainage

Swimmer’s Ear: Overview

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The important first step is examination and making a correct diagnosis of the problem, then an appropriate treatment plan can be made. Every situation is different.

Ear Infection Treatment Options include:

  • Watch and Wait
  • Antibiotics
  • Ear tube placement
  • Allergy treatment

Middle Ear Infection: Treatment Overview

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Ear Tubes: Overview

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Ear Tubes: Post-Op

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We provide full service pediatric and adult audiology testing including:

  • Audiograms
  • Tympanograms
    • Measures ear drum movement to assess for middle ear negative pressure / fluid
  • Otoacoustic Emission Testing
    • This tests the function of the outer hair cells in the inner ear
    • This test is very helpful in young children when audiograms may not be possible

If you have ear infection problems, please call 503-257-3204 or request a visit online with us.


American Academy of Otolaryngology−Head and Neck Surgery; One Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314-3357, 1-703-836-4444. 2014 AAO-HNS/AAO-HNSF