You can use antibiotic eardrops for ear infections
while tubes are in place. In some cases, antibiotic eardrops seem to work
better than antibiotics by mouth when tubes are present.4
While tubes are in place, your doctor will recommend ear protection, including caution with water. The ear could get infected if any germs in the water get into the ear.
Removing adenoids and/or tonsils As a treatment for chronic ear infections, experts
recommend removing adenoids and tonsils only after tubes and antibiotics have
failed. Removing adenoids may improve air and fluid flow in nasal passages.
This may reduce the chance of fluid collecting in the middle ear, which can
lead to infection. Tonsils are removed if they are frequently infected. Experts
do not recommend tonsil removal alone as a treatment for ear
infections.5 See a picture of the
adenoids and tonsils .
Caring for ruptured eardrums If your child has a
ruptured eardrum, keep water from getting in the ear
when your child takes a bath or a shower or goes swimming. The ear could get
infected if any germs in the water get into the ear. If your doctor says it’s
okay, your child may use earplugs. Or your doctor may have other advice for
you. He or she can tell you when the hole in the eardrum has healed and when
it’s okay to go back to regular water activities.
If a ruptured eardrum hasn't healed in 3 to 6
months, your child may need surgery (myringoplasty or tympanoplasty) to close
the hole. This surgery is rarely done, because the eardrum usually heals on its
own within a few weeks. If a child has had many ear infections, you may delay
surgery until the child is 6 to 8 years old to allow time for
eustachian tube function to improve. At this point,
there is a better chance that surgery will work.
Ear Problems: Should My Child Be Treated for Fluid Buildup in the Middle Ear?
What To Think About
If amoxicillin-the most
commonly used antibiotic for ear infections-does not improve symptoms in 48
hours, your doctor may try a different antibiotic.
antibiotics for ear infection, it is very important that your child take all of
the medicine as directed, even if he or she feels better. Do not use leftover
antibiotics to treat another illness. Misuse of antibiotics can lead to
find that decongestants, antihistamines, and other nonprescription cold
remedies usually do not help prevent or treat ear infections or fluid behind
Children who have fluid behind the eardrum longer
than 3 months (chronic otitis media with effusion) may have trouble hearing and
need a hearing test. If there is a hearing problem, your doctor may also
prescribe antibiotics to help clear the fluid. But that usually doesn't help.
The doctor might also suggest placing tubes in the ears to drain the fluid and