Advice for parents and carers after remote assessment for earache
Ear infections are extremely common in children They are caused by either an infection of the middle ear that causes inflammation and a build-up of fluid (otitis media) or by an infection of the skin of the ear canal (otitis externa). Otitis externa is also known as ‘swimmers ear’ because it occurs more commonly when water enters the ear canal. Although most children with otitis media and otitis externa need no specific treatment, they will need to seen by a healthcare professional if they have pus coming out of their ear, in order to decide if treatment is required.
Symptoms of otitis media:
- Fever may be present
- Pulling, tugging or rubbing ear
- Slight hearing loss
In most cases, the symptoms of otitis media develop quickly and get better by themselves in a few days.In some cases, pus may run out of the ear, this is the fluid that had built up behind the ear drum causing a small hole in the eardrum; this tends to heal up by itself.
Symptoms of otitis externa:
- Pain and tenderness in the ear canal.
- Foul smelling yellow or green pus in the ear canal.
- Reduced hearing.
- Noises inside the ear, such as buzzing, humming or ringing (tinnitus).
- Otitis externa is usually one sided (unilateral)