Middle ear infections are inflammations of the eardrum and middle ear that can be seen in both adults and children in general. Istanbul Okan University Hospital Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Ozan Seymen Sezen answered all the questions about otitis media in children.
Ear Inflammations; It is divided into two as acute middle ear infections and chronic ear infections. Chronic middle ear infections are generally used to describe the type of chronic, non-healing inflammation that can be seen in adults.
What causes middle ear inflammation in children?
Acute middle ear inflammation is a disease that is very common especially in the pediatric age group and worries families. Middle ear infections are a type of inflammation that involves the eardrum and middle ear.
In general, frequent upper respiratory tract infections in children trigger this problem. During or following upper respiratory tract infections, the microbial environment in the nasal passage may cause an infection in the middle ear by moving from the Eustachian tube to the middle ear by coughing or other methods.
What problems does middle ear inflammation cause in children?
Middle ear inflammation is a type of infection that can develop very quickly and suddenly. Your child, whom you send to school in a healthy way in the morning, may experience an earache towards the noon and call the teacher and inform you about the situation, that is, symptoms may develop within very short hours. The complaints of the patients are usually; ear pain, a feeling of pressure and fullness in the ear, high fever, weakness and exhaustion may occur. This problem is important for us because middle ear infections cause serious pain and can cause the child to be really uncomfortable.
Should antibiotic treatment be preferred?
In recent years, we, doctors, do not resort to a method such as giving antibiotics right away, but for this, the family must be conscious and have easy access to their doctor.
The patient should be followed up with painkillers and antipyretics for 2 days. If there is no decrease in pain and fever after 2 days, then antibiotics can be started.
If the opportunity to reach the doctor is not very convenient due to your daily life pace, antibiotics can be started as soon as this problem is seen in the child. This is a situation that will be determined by the preference of the family and your doctor.
Ear tube can be put in!
Middle ear inflammation may not regress immediately after the pain is gone. A fluid may remain in the middle ear and this fluid may disappear on its own after a certain period of time, but in some children this period may be longer. These fluids may not regress until 3 months, if these fluids do not regress up to 3 months and if it lasts longer, a hearing loss may be experienced in the child. This hearing loss is fluid dependent. If the fluid is taken or lost, the hearing loss will improve. In such cases, if there is no severe hearing loss or if there are no backward collapses in the eardrum or conditions that will disrupt the structure of the eardrum, a period of 3 months is expected, but if these fluids do not disappear for more than 3 months, then this fluid behind the eardrum is drained and a tube is inserted into the ear. Temporary small prostheses can be placed, which we refer to as self-explanatory later.
prof. Dr. Ozan Seymen Sezen said, “This situation is very rare in patients, so there is no rule that it will happen after every otitis media problem. It is a condition that will be seen in about 1 percent of otitis media problems,'' he said.
Ninety percent of children live
Middle ear infections are very common in children. It can be observed very often in almost 90 percent of children until they reach the age of 7-8 years.
Measures to be taken
As many measures as there are to prevent children from catching the flu, the same can be a measure for this problem. Smoking should not be allowed near children, and children should be fed with natural and additive-free foods as much as possible. Although it seems controversial, flu vaccines and pneumococcal vaccines, which are still of great medical importance, can prevent middle ear infections as well as prevent flu if they are administered during these seasons in children who have very frequent upper respiratory tract infections.