Super Mom Mondays: Treating ear infections

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The dreaded ear infection, if you have kids, chances are you or someone you know has dealt with this.

Those infections usually come at the worst time, in the middle of the night, or on vacation.

Happy and full of energy it’s how you will usually find three-year-old Elise Sullivan.

A common childhood infection has left Elise down and out.

“We were actually away last week on vacation,” Elizabeth Sullivan, daughter treated for an ear infection, said. “A couple of days in she started really complaining about her ear and holding on to her ear.”

She’s not alone, ear infections are one of the leading ailments sending parents to the pediatrician’s office.

“Young children, it’s a very short distance between their nose and their ear so it’s typical if they are exposed to an infection or virus, it spreads to the ear rapidly, so that’s really why there is a very high instance in kids under three,” Pediatric Ear Nose and Throat Doctor Jason Mousakis said.

Dr. Mousakis is a familiar face for many Capital Region kids. He says it’s not that we are seeing more ear infections but diagnosis is probably a little better now and the strains of viruses causing these infections are changing,

“One of the biggest issues though is the fact that we are seeing a rise in resistance, in particularly to very common antibiotics. This is probably a reflection of a society of some of the over-use of antibiotics.”

“It’s worrisome because obviously as moms we try to do whatever we can to make sure everything is ok,” Sullivan said.

What can we do to keep kids like Elise bouncing and smiling? It’s pretty simple and something many people probably already do at home like practicing good hand washing and germ prevention. Most ear infections start with the common cold. If your child goes to daycare, try and find a setting with small class sizes and always keep your kids away from second-hand smoke.

Recent guidelines suggest parents can let some ear infections just run the course, managing the pain with Motrin or Tylenol, and monitoring the situation.

Serious problems with ear infections can affect balance and hearing, sometimes diminishing hearing by as much as 40 decibels, that’s double the effect of ear plugs.

Remember to take your child to the doctor if you suspect an ear infection.

If your child has had several infections in a short period, it may be time to see a specialist and consider other options like ear tubes.

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