By the age of 3, roughly 65% of children suffer from some kind of ear infection, which can even lead to recurrent episodes, if not spotted at the earliest opportunity. Children with otitis media along with middle-ear fluid are in danger of experiencing some kinds of hearing loss. It can be difficult to figure it out directly, but based on the speech-response of the child, you can track the occurrence.
You need to intervene early to ensure there is no distractibility in the child or delay in catching sounds. Measuring the movement of ear drum (tympanogram) gives the health status of middle ear, and this kind of diagnosis should be conducted every alternate month to make sure everything is all right.
As far as spotting the symptoms is concerns, you should know that ear disorders don’t accompany with tears and fevers. You need to carry out careful monitoring to gain a good awareness of any discomfort being faced by your child. Here are some signs and behaviors to keep an eye on. If you doubt anything suspicious, it’s advisable to consult an expert ENT.
If you notice some abnormality in the normal sleeping schedule of your child, or if they cry more than what they usually do, it could be an indicator for some sort of infection.
Tugging At Ears
This is possibly the most common signal you can get, and if you see your child doing this most of the times, you are in for some attention. They will pull, swat and put everything near the ears, even their toys. If you notice such an occurrence for over a week, it’s a clear signal of irritation in the ears. This would require medical consultation at the earliest.
Untimed bloating, reduced appetite, diarrhea and vomiting are some of the most common symptoms that point towards infection, which can be spotted anywhere.
Discomfort On Bed
If you notice a child getting upset when they lie down, this implies they feel some sort of fluid build-up or pressure within Eustachian Tube and the middle ear.
In spite of you repeatedly asking something that you had been asking for over a year now, if the child ignores you, or gives a reaction like “What?” or “Huh”, instead of responding the way they used to do, then there is a probability of moderate hearing loss.
The child may have a perforated eardrum, if you see some sort of fluid or pus coming out of the ear canal. This is an extreme case where pressure bursts through the eardrum.
Recurrent ear infections in children can have a direct impact on the speech clarity. You will often notice a mumbled speech during such an episode, and their ability to respond quickly fades away gradually.
If you notice any of these behaviors in your child, it’s advisable to seek medical assistance from a reputed ENT professional that specializes in treating ear infections in children. An expert in speech and language can also help you identify such issues.