It is not uncommon for a baby to develop an ear infection from time to time, but doctors are no longer treating ear infections the same way as they once did. While there are times when doctors will prescribe medication for ear infections, many doctors are more likely to leave these infections untreated. Here are three things you should know about this if you have a baby who has an ear infection.
Some infections do not need medication
There are two types of infections you can get, which are viral infections and bacterial infections. Ear infections can be either of these types, but antibiotics are only good for treating bacterial infections. If your child's ear infection is caused by a virus, taking medication will not help it in any way.
If your child has a bacterial ear infection, the doctor will check for several things. The first thing is a fever. Fevers are commonly present with bacterial infections. The doctor will also want to look at the child's eardrums to see if they are bright red, and he or she will see how much fluid is present in the child's ears.
If the infection appears to be a viral infection, the doctor will probably want to give it some time to heal on its own. In many cases, kids feel better from an ear infection in just a day or two, and this is without taking any medication at all.
Antibiotics can be more harmful than good
A second reason doctors may not rush to give medication for an ear infection is that antibiotics are not good to take if they are not necessary. Antibiotics can kill bacteria in the body, but there are side effects a person will experience from these medications. Antibiotics can destroy good bacteria in the body, and this can leave a person with an upset stomach and other types of digestive issues.
A second problem can occur when a person takes too many antibiotics. When a person continuously takes antibiotics for minor illnesses, his or her body can build up an immunity against the medications. If this happens, this person may have problems eliminating a bacterial infection, simply because the person would be immune to antibiotics. If you can avoid giving your child antibiotics, you will not have to worry about these issues.
If your child has an ear infection, take him or her to a doctor. A pediatrician like Willow Oak Pediatrics can help you decide what the right form of treatment is for your child.