Ear Infections and Strep Throat: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Nothing is as painful as seeing your child in pain and discomfort. Childhood medical conditions like strep throat and ear infections can cause severe pain and discomfort, interfering with your child’s ability to sleep or play. Dr. Jones and his team at Argyle Pediatrics offer diagnostic testing and several treatment options, like ear drops, to alleviate your child’s symptoms.

Factors contributing to strep throat

Strep throat refers to a bacterial infection that can affect adults and children but is more prevalent in children. It is caused by a bacterium known as Streptococcus pyogenes, which is highly contagious and can be spread by coming into contact with an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as when coughing or sneezing. The bacterium can also survive on surfaces, meaning your child can contract the infection by touching contaminated objects and then touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. Close contact with infected individuals, such as in schools or daycare centers, can increase your child’s risk of strep throat.

Other factors that can increase your child’s susceptibility to strep throat include weakened immune systems, poor hygiene, and exposure to cigarette smoke. Additionally, certain environmental factors, such as living in crowded conditions or being exposed to pollution, can increase the likelihood of contracting the infection.

Signature symptoms of an ear infection

The signature symptom of an ear infection is ear pain, which may be severe and make it difficult for your child to sleep or eat. Younger children may be unable to express their discomfort, so parents should look for signs of fussiness, irritability, and pulling or tugging at the ears. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, and difficulty hearing. In some cases, an ear infection may also cause drainage from the ear, which can be a sign of a ruptured eardrum, leading to temporary hearing loss and a ringing sensation in your kid’s ear. If left untreated, an ear infection can lead to more serious complications, such as hearing loss, mastoiditis, and meningitis.

Remedies for an ear infection

The treatment of an ear infection depends on the severity and duration of the infection. In most cases, mild ear infections will clear up within a few days, and treatment may involve pain relief medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. You should ensure that your child gets plenty of rest and fluids and avoid giving them anything to eat or drink that may irritate their throat, such as acidic or spicy foods. You should also avoid giving your child medication without consulting your doctor first.

If the ear infection is severe or persists for more than a few days, your child may need antibiotics to clear the infection. Your provider can prescribe antibiotics, which may be given orally or as ear drops. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if the child starts to feel better, to prevent the infection from returning or becoming resistant to treatment. In chronic cases, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure, such as a myringotomy, to drain the fluid from the middle ear, relieving the pressure on the eardrum.

If you think your kid has strep throat or an ear infection, call Dr.Jones or book your spot online for treatment.