Is Your Child Dealing With Recurrent Ear Infections?
Ear infections can be miserable, and when it comes to children the painful condition is distressingly common. Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone's ENT and Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX treats many pediatric patients for recurrent ear infections, and she can help put your child on the path to recovery as well.
What causes ear infections?
Ear infections occur when the Eustachian tube, which equalizes the middle ear, develops fluid or pressure buildup. This happens more frequently in babies, toddlers, and preschool-age children as their Eustachian tube is not yet fully sized and matured. In addition to the immaturity of the Eustachian tube, environmental factors such as exposure to secondhand smoke, allergies, sinus or bacterial infections can lead to a sinus infection. If your child is enrolled in day care or school, you may find they are quicker to develop contagious ear infections.
What can a pediatric ENT do for my child's ear infections?
At our San Antonio, TX office a pediatric ENT may recommend medicinal or surgical options for your child's ear infection, depending on the cause, severity or duration of the infection.
Prescription antibiotics are typically the first course of action for an ear infection, with the type, dosage and length of treatment determined on an individual basis. If your child is in need of more intensive treatment, your pediatric ENT may opt to surgically place pressure equalization tubes in your child's ears. This procedure involves putting your child under anesthesia while your pediatric ENT makes a small incision in the ear drum to drain out any built-up fluid and insert the tube. This process should take under 10 minutes, and your child will be able to return home right after.
The tube will likely remain in place up to a year, falling out on its own. During this time, your child will be seen by your pediatric ENT at our San Antonio, TX office every six months to monitor the tube and progress in treating the infection.
How effective are pressure equalization tubes?
Most pediatric patients will have lasting results with a single set of tubes, but more sets may be needed, especially if the tubes fall out before the ear infection has been remedied. You will want to schedule regular visits for your child with a pediatric ENT at our San Antonio, TX office to monitor their ear health.
If your child is suffering from persistent, painful ear infections, call Everyone's ENT and Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX at 210-647-3838.