Ear Infections: When is it Time to See an ENT Doctor?

Find out when you should act on chronic ear infections.

Ear infections are a common part of childhood. For many young kids, allergy symptoms or a common cold will eventually lead to a secondary ear infection. Find out when you should ask your child’s pediatrician for a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT) for frequent ear infections.

How frequent are ear infections?
According to the National Institutes of Health, three out of four children will have at least one ear infection before the age of three. In most cases, these infections are easily cleared up with antibiotics. However, some kids experience chronic ear infections. Medline Plus describes chronic ear infections as an infection that occurs when fluid or an infection behind the eardrum does not go away.

Are ear infections dangerous?
If your child experiences frequent ear infections or has a stubborn ear infections with symptoms that aren’t going away, it’s important to seek medical attention. This is a good time to have your child seen by an ENT, or doctor of the ear, nose and throat. If left untreated, chronic ear infections can lead to complications like hearing loss and bone infection.

How are chronic ear infections treated?
An ENT will help diagnose your child’s ear problems. If it is not during regular business hours and your child has severe symptoms, such as a high fever, visit Oak Hill’s Pediatric ER. A strong course of antibiotics as well as ear drops are often needed to treat a serious, chronic ear infection. In severe cases, a child may need surgery to clear out infection or prevent further infection.

To learn more of find out how to get treatment for your child's frequent ear infections, give us a call at 352-596-6632 in Hernando or 352-628-6441 in Citrus.

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