I know this is a longshot....but can anyone tell me a reliable way to diagnose if my child has an ear infection (prior to a Dr's visit)? He has only had one case of a bilateral ear infection but now I worry about them recurring. I think he could be teething, it could be his ears...
Our DD is the queen of ear infections (three sets of tubes, tonsils and adenoids, etc.). She seldom ran fevers with hers (though our oldest DS usually did), but we could always tell because she would be up screaming all night, then be fussy during the day. Almost always, when we took her to the doctor the next day, we would discover she had an ear infection. If you want to check, I believe there is an OTC product you can get in drug and department stores which allows you to look inside their ears. I would just ask at the pharmacy.
My doctor told me too that ear infections are usually accompanied by fever, but I have heard people say that their lo's never got a fever despite many infections so who knows..
If your lo is fussier than normal and tugging at his ears I would personally take him in to be checked. It's hard to know though, because both these things can also be teething. If he's just tugging at his ears though, I would wait a little bit before running him to the doc, and see if it subsides on it's own.
Married my best friend - July 06'
Mommy to Liam Carter - May 07'
Lost our little angel - m/c January 08'
Our newest bundle, Brody Anderson! - February 09'
Just heard something on the news about ear infections. They said drs are too quick to prescribe an antibiotic for an ear infection. Most will subside on their own. I know that's hard to wait out, but it could be better in the long run. My dr always says, if your DD has a fever but you are keeping her comfortable with Motrin and she's playing and acting fairly normal, then let her be. I stress over fevers though. I can't help it. Trying to be better about it. Good luck.
I'm stumped over this because I dealt with this with my oldest child....and ended up with a hearing problem that may or may not be attributed to all of her ear infections and all of the antibiotics that she was put on over the course of a few years. I have 3 children. My oldest as I said, constant ear infections. My 2nd.....never had anything ever wrong....never had an antibiotic til he was about 4 years old. My baby is only 4 months old....so he is kind of young to know what pattern he will take.
As for my oldest.....she had ear infections and strep throat so many times during the first 2 years that we had tubes put in and her tonsils/adenoid were removed at 2.5 years old. The only reason they put the tubes in was cause she was going under anyway for the tonsils....and she did have some hearing loss. She was still in the normal range, but at the bottom end of it. So, the tubes were put in. We had her back 6 weeks after surgery and again 6 months after that for hearing tests....all which put her at the top end of normal. BUT...then at almost 6 years old, my ex husband and I noticed that she didn't seem to hear us all the time. We took her in and it was confirmed that she had a 20% hearing loss. She was prescribed hearing aids for both ears at that time. She was diagnosed with a bilateral sensori-neural hearing loss......more or less....nerve damage is what the problem was. Well, to make a long story short.....that first year and a half after being diagnosed with a hearing loss....she went from a 20% loss to an 80% loss....with no good explanation. We've had her to every specialist known to man to try to figure out what went wrong, and without any major injuries or illnesses (such as meningitis) it's hard to say what happened. Could it be cause of all the antibiotics and ear infections? We don't know. The doctor that she most recently saw said that that could have caused it....but he can't say for certain. He also said that some antibiotics can have a negative effect on hearing. He said that she was obviously losing hearing when she had the tubes put in, and having the tubes put in probably prolonged that loss for a couple of years.....which if that is the case, thank God we had the tubes put in because before her hearing really started plummeting....she developed speech....and now today.....she has a very very slight speech impediment. So slight that if you didn't know she was hearing impaired....you wouldn't attribute the speech impediment to any hearing loss.
Today, she is 15 years old and only has 5% of her hearing left. She still gets use out of hearing aids, but because of the severity of her hearing loss, even with hearing aids, she only hears about 70%....but that is better than 5%!!!! So, we'll take that!!!
So for me.....it's hard for me to let docs prescribe antibiotics cause I don't know what caused the loss in my daughter.....but on the flip side of that......I don't know that it would be best to just let it heal on its own either. Something caused my daughters hearing loss....and my guess would be that it was either the infections themselves, the antibiotics....or a combo of both.
Don't mean to frighten anyone.....but just thought I'd share what I've experienced.
Proud Mommy of 4 beautiful children:
DD - Jordan Marie...8/17/94
DS - Kyle Jeffery...5/28/99
DS - Landon Russell...2/21/09
DD - Avery Marie...10/29/11...adopted by family.
DS gets ear infections a lot, and the only way I usually know is if he gets a persistent fever and no other obvious symptoms. He has never been one to pull or tug on his ears when they hurt. A couple months ago he had a fever that would just not go away and he was VERY irritable and cranky. There was no runny nose, cough, or vomiting, so I decided to take him in to the Dr.'s on day 3 of the fever since I just had no idea if it was the cold or flu. He had an infection in 1 ear, his ped. put him on Amoxicillan. It didn't help, so I brought him back in a week later and this time he had a double ear infection. They had to put him on stronger meds until both infections were gone.
Well, I have seen a product at the pharmacy you can buy for $50 or so, you can look in their ears yourself. I was considering getting one but haven't yet. But I just had my 13 month old daughter at the doctor this morning actually because I thought she was wheezing, she had bronchilitis last month and we didn't want to take any chances when I thought she might be, she is getting over another cold. Anyway, no wheezing but the doctor found she has an ear infection. She's had no fever, not been irritable at all, eating fine, not up at night, no way in the world that I would have known. I did tell the doctor I noticed her tugging at her ear now and again but she never seemed bothered, just a tug here and there. Last time she had one she had a high fever so that goes to show you that no ear infection has certain symptoms.