Rare is the patient which throughout his childhood has not suffered from an earache, usually during the course of a catarrhal infection of the upper respiratory tract. Unfortunately, some young patients seem to be especially prone to earaches with a frequency unusual, either by local conditions of the upper respiratory tract (presence of mucus more or less permanently in the middle ear, for example), either by certain customs or habits (self-provocation scratching lesions in the ear canal, persistent swimming) or predisposing such as psoriasis or eczema that weaken the barrier effect of healthy skin
In all these cases, the earache is a constant with which the family has to struggle to provide comfort to the little patient, trying not to do things wrong. For this purpose, we have prepared these tips.
In the case of these patients, MEDIZZINE wants to warn about the need for a patient clinical assessment done by a competent physician.
► 1. An earache (otalgia) is usually due to an infection of the ear. It may be placed in the middle ear (the so call tympanic cavity) or in the outer ear (the tube that leads the outside sound to the eardrum). More rarely it is due to other causes, beyond the scope of these tips.
► 2. Home treatment of pain, pending the decision of your doctor is the same as in case of fever, ie, ibuprofen and acetaminophen at doses appropriate.
► 3. Antibiotics do not constitute an essential part of the measures to be taken. Nor should you rush to buy them at a pharmacy (if it is allowed in your country) or ask someone from your family circle or friends, nor are recommended in most cases as initial treatment. Only if prescribed by the doctor, usually in cases of severe infection or after a reasonable period of three or more days when no improvement is experienced.
► 4. The presence of high fever and pain simultaneously can be indicative of excessive fluid pressure within the tympanic cavity, which could force evacuate through an incision in the membrane. You should consult your doctor immediately if these circumstances occur.
► 5. Refrain from putting drops of any kind into the ear canal of your child unless prescribed by your doctor. In some cases, because could be perforated eardrum and pass the drug into the middle ear or other internal structures which could be damaged. Other times, the drops may hinder the vision the eardrum, difficulting the medical exploration.
► 6. You should not introduce cotton swabs or other objects into the ear canal of a patient with an earache (even if there is no pain). This maneuver could move a plug of earwax into the duct or damage the skin of this.
► 7. Sometimes the eardrum ruptures as a result of the combined effect of the pressure of mucus or pus in the tympanic cavity and the infection, often relieving pain because thus the accumulated liquid has an escape route to the outside. As a general rule, do not put cotton balls in the ear canal that could prevent the outflow of pus or mucus. However, if the liquid removed is dense, you can put superficially a piece of cotton loosely so that it soaks the exudate which should change very often.
► 8. If your doctor has prescribed drops for direct application in the duct, place the child with the ear up, his head resting on the other side. After putting the drops into the ear canal, hold it in this position one or two minutes and press the pinna several times to lower the medicine inside the ear duct.
► 9. Consult your doctor if the child seems sicker or not experience improvement within 48-72 hours. Although unusually, the infection can spread beyond the initial focus and affect the surrounding tissues.
► 10. If your child has an earache and seems to feel well, you may have only mucus buildup in the middle ear, which usually resolves by itself.
► 11. Some patients are prone to suffer otitis externa, an infection of the ear canal causing itching, feeling of occupation and ear pain. If a substance such as soap, shampoo, etc. accidentally falls into the canal, clean it carefully with the end of the towel, a cotton wick or other substance.