Ear Care

Written by Amy Hall
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Fortunately, our ears are designed to be self-sufficient, and we do not have to do much to care for them. Keeping this in mind, it is also important to realize that ear infections do happen, especially in infants and small children. If you have ever suffered from an ear infection, you know that there is no mistaking the pain. Sometimes the pain feels more like dull ache, and other times it can be sharp and excruciating.

Small children and babies seem to bear the brunt of ear infection pain, simply because their Eustachian tubes are not developed yet. In children, these tubes are much smaller and they are situated in a more horizontal position, whereas in adults they are more vertical. A vertical position allows for better drainage of fluid in the ear. If you or family members are prone to infections, you may want to purchase an ear canal dryer that can safely help dry your ears as often as needed. For those who spend a lot of time in the water, ear canal dryers are a lifesaver, since they tend to work more quickly than other methods, such as ear drops.

When babies and children become sick with a cold or the flu, or even allergies, fluid can build up behind the eardrum, causing bacteria to grow out of control. This leads to swelling, inflammation, and pain. The doctor can oftentimes see pus in the ear, indicating a bacterial infection that will require antibiotics to cure.

Smart Ear Care

If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, never use a Q-Tip to try and remove any fluid or wax. Immediately take your child to the doctor to get examined, as this will ensure your child is getting the proper care. You may apply a hot washcloth or water bottle to the outer ear to relieve pain, and acetaminophen can also reduce pain and swelling. If antibiotics are necessary, you will have to return to the doctor for a follow-up within a couple of weeks.

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