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When is treatment needed for ear infections?

ANSWER

Your doctor might take a wait-and-see approach. Often, a typical infection goes away on its own, especially if it’s from a virus. Sometimes your child needs antibiotics to kill infections caused by bacteria. But some kids just get a lot of ear infections and sometimes they don’t clear up very easily. Usually, it doesn’t cause long-term problems, but frequent ones can lead to:

  • Delays in learning speech and developing social skills
  • Hearing loss
  • Infection that spreads to other parts of the head
  • Tears, or holes, in the eardrum

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 01, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 01, 2018

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Why are ear tubes used to treat ear infections?

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