Babies are often susceptible to ear infections. Medically termed as acute otitis media, ear infections usually develop because of fluid or bacteria collecting around the eardrum. Typically, the Eustachian tube, connecting the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat allows such fluids to drain out from the region around the middle ear. However, when the Eustachian tube is blocked, as happens during a common cold, this fluid cannot drain out, and instead, accumulates, causing an infection. This is why ear infections often develop following a cold or infection of the sinus, or related illnesses. A baby’s shorter Eustachian tubes and horizontal positioning means that ear infections are more common in babies than in adults.
These are some of the symptoms your baby is likely to display in case of an ear infection:
- A sudden change in mood, marked by increasing fussiness or crying
- Tendency to pull or fidget with the ears
- Reluctance to eat due to the pain
- Oozing of a fluid from the ear
- Unpleasant odor coming in the ear
If you suspect that your baby has an ear infection, call the doctor immediately. After a physical examination of your baby’s ear to confirm the infection, the doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics, along with a painkiller. Let the doctor know if you think your baby is not getting better.