By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute
In most cases of inflammation of the middle ear, you do not have to treat your child with penicillin. You can help your child by using a decongestant, raise the bedhead and administer painkillers. If your child continues to have pains in the ear, in spite of your treatment, you must call the doctor immediately.
Inflammation of the middle ear is a very common illness with children from 6 months to 3 years old. It especially occurs as a complication to the common cold. A connection between the nose and the middle ear functions as a valve so the pressure in the middle ear may be regulated. In the case of common cold, influenza or inflammation of the nose and throat, the mucous membranes swell up, closing the valve. Thereby developing inflammation of the middle ear.
In the lighter cases, there is only a hint of plugs and pains in the ear. In severe cases, the pains are significant and the child often cries inconsolably. In the most severe cases, the child has a high fever. The pains are often worst during the night when the child lies with the head low.
With some children the eardrum bursts and pus – possibly mixed with blood – leaks out of the auditory canal. When the pus leaves the auditory canal the child has healed itself. With almost all children, the hole in the eardrum closes in the course of a few days without the hearing is impaired.