Ear infections

Ear infections can be caused by bacterial, fungal or viral inflammation.

A common cause of ear infections in children are enlarged adenoids. The adenoids are at the back of the nose. When they become inflamed they can block special tubes in the ear. The blockage can fill the middle ear with pus, and this leads to further infection and swelling.

If untreated, an ear infection caused by swollen adenoids could lead to hearing loss.

Diagnosis

Ear infections can be very painful. If you suffer from prolonged pain, itching or hearing loss you may have an ear infection.

If your child suddenly cries a lot at night, cannot hear properly and is in pain, Dr Miller needs to examine them for a possible ear infection.

Dr Miller will discuss your symptoms/your child’s symptoms and medical history with you. After an examination, he will carry out tests to confirm the infection and discuss treatment.

Treatment

We treat ear infections using analgesics, antibiotics, anti-fungal agents and sometimes surgery.

Antibiotics are usually the first course of treatment for a bacterial ear infection. However, acute ear infections often get better without any treatment. So it may be better to wait 24 hours before starting children on antibiotics.

An ear infection can also be viral and improve on its own over time. However, treatment is essential if your child has frequent ear infections as well as hearing loss or speech delay. One treatment option is surgery to remove the adenoids (adenoidectomy). Another surgical option is to drain fluid from the middle ear and insert a special tube.

Ear tube surgery and adenoidectomies are common procedures. However, surgery is not the first treatment choice.

Appointment Request IconFor more information about treatments for ear infections, please book a consultation appointment.