Lifewatch: Ear infections

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Experts report three of four kids have had at least one ear infection by the time they turn three years old

Luckily, there is new help for babies who are prone to the infections.

4-year-old Khari Payne has already suffered through nearly a dozen ear infections.

"We were in the doctor all the time, it was just, I mean at least once a month for probably the better part of two years. It was endless," said Chelsea Carlson Payne, Khari's mother.

His symptoms often began with a runny nose, then came a fever, fussiness and irritability.

Some pediatricians differ in how to proceed with treatment.

Dr. Vivian Lennon often keeps a watchful eye on a child before prescribing antibiotics.

"If the child however is younger, if the child is having severe pain, if the child is having fever then the decision may be made to treat with antibiotics," said Dr. Lennon.

She said the medication should start working within 48-72 hours.

Khari's infections kept coming back, so his parents opted for surgery to insert tubes in his middle ear.

The tubes provide instantaneous pain relief because the fluid is drained instantly.

The pain relief is instantaneous because the fluid is drained instantaneously.  Khari's mother reports that he hasn't had an ear infection in about a year.

To prevent ear infections, kids should avoid places where people are smoking.  Cigarette smoke can keep your Eustachian tubes from working properly.

Also, stay away from people who have colds, wash your hands regularly, and try not to touch your nose and eyes.