Ear Infections, Infants
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Ear infection, also known as otitis media, is a common ailment among infants. Since infants cannot communicate their discomfort in words, it is easy for new parents to miss the cues that infection is present. Fortunately, there are behavioral signals and some physical symptoms to alert you to a possible ear infection in your infant.
 The Signs
The easiest way to tell if your baby has an ear infection is a change in his mood. If your baby is fussier than usual, develops a fever, or if he is recently had a cold or sinus infection, you should be on the lookout for possible infection.
Other possible symptoms of ear infection include:
Ear infections are simply the result of a build up of fluid and bacteria in the area surrounding the eardrum. The middle ear is connected to the back of the nose and throat by the Eustachian tube. Fluid that enters the baby’s ear, through bathing for example, should leave the ear via the Eustachian tube, however, this tube can become blocked when the baby has a cold, sinus infection or allergy. When the Eustachian tube is blocked, fluid and bacteria build up in the ear and an ear infection results. Babies’ Eustachian tubes are short and horizontal, making them particularly susceptible to blockage and, therefore, ear infections. As babies grow to adulthood, the tube triples in length and become more vertical, so fluid can drain more easily.
Doctors prescribe antibiotics and follow-up examination for diagnosed ear infections. If the ear infection is not successfully treated with an antibiotic, then the doctor will examine the baby for other illnesses or prescribe a different antibiotic.