What to know about middle ear infection

Rozelle Roets

Middle ear infection is a general condition, but could have bad consequences if not treated properly.

How will I know if my child has middle ear infection?

  • The baby pulls or rubs the little ears
  • Loss of appetite, irritability and crying
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Unexplained fever
  • Poor reaction to sound; asks for repetition and tasks are incorrectly done
  • Adjusts volume of radio and TV louder than normal and speaks very loudly himself
  • Balance disturbance.

What can I as parent do?

  • Take your child to the doctor and follow his directions.
  • Take the child to an audiologist for a hearing test and testing of pressure in the middle ear.
  • Always complete the course of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
  • Do not breast or bottle feed while the child is lying flat. It can cause middle ear infection.
  • Remove allergy-causing factors like certain food types, dust, cats, cigarette smoke, etc.
  • Lift the top end of the bed by 20-30cm – this can help to drain the middle ear.
  • Teach your child how to blow his nose often and effectively.
  • Consider a smaller day-care group or home care.
  • Take your child to a speech and language therapist for an evaluation to determine whether there speech or language is affected in order to prevent later scholastic fallouts.
  • Repeat consultations to the doctor to monitor allergies and eliminating regular middle ear infections.
  • Repeat consultations to the audiologist to monitor your child’s hearing ability.

Feel free to consult the website of the South African Association of Audiologists at www.audiologysa.co.za to find a registered audiologist in your area.

Adapted from an article originally published in My Child and I, Autumn 2012


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