Learning About Uncommon Child Ear-Infection Symptoms
If you have a young child, then your son or daughter will likely get an ear infection at some point. Around 75% of all children will get an ear infection before they reach the age of three. These infections are extremely common, and you will notice symptoms like tugging on the ears as well as a low-grade fever. There are some other types of symptoms that may arise that are less common but somewhat surprising. Keep reading to learn about them and find out what you should do.
Bleeding from the Ears
It is extremely common to see some fluid coming out of the ears when your child has an ear infection. When the ear becomes infected, the ear canal swells and traps some of the fluid that is normally created in the middle ear. While this fluid usually moves out through the eustachian tubes, the swelling of the ears can cause it to become trapped. Some of this fluid can then drain out through the outer ear canal. Generally, this fluid will be clear. If it mixes with ear wax or the dirt in the ear that is held by the wax, then the discharge may appear brown or yellow.
In some cases, you may actually see some bloody discharge releasing from the ears. This can be scary and alarming, but it does not indicate an emergency situation. If you notice blood coming out of the ear, then you will likely see some pus as well. The pus and the blood release from the ear canal when the eardrum ruptures. The eardrum is a thin piece of tissue that sits between the middle ear and outer ear. When the ears are infected, fluid builds just behind the eardrum. Pressure builds around the tissue and can cause it to burst. When this happens, you will notice blood coming out of the ear as well as some of the fluid that may have been stuck behind the eardrum.
Thankfully, eardrum ruptures will heal. They can produce some pain and discomfort, and your child may not hear as well out of the ear for a few weeks. If you notice the issue, use a clean rag to clear the blood and other discharge away. Also, give your child an NSAID pain reliever for discomfort.
Problems Lying Down
If your child has an ear infection, then you likely know that he or she needs plenty of rest. This helps the immune system fight off the infection so your child can heal in a timely manner. However, children with ear infections may become quite restless when they lie down. This can make it difficult for your child to sleep and may lead to one or several sleepless nights.
The issue with lying down occurs because air can usually pass through the eustachian tubes as you keep your head upright. When you lie your head on a pillow, air can no longer pass through the tubes, and they may clog with fluid. As fluid builds, more pressure is placed on the inner ear. Since an ear infection has likely already caused some swelling, this can create more pain and soreness within the ear.
If you want your child to get the rest that he or she needs, then make sure the head is propped up so the eustachian tubes can drain and so air can pass through the tubes. Place one or two pillows under your child's head so it is elevated as much as possible. Also, warm compresses can help to reduce swelling within the ears as your child lies down, and so can warm air. Wet a cloth and place it directly against your child's infected ear or use a hair dryer to blow warm air into the ear canal. If you use a hair dryer, make sure to set it on low and hold it several inches away from the outer ear.
If you are worried, you can always take your child in to the doctor's office. Find a doctor near you by visiting sites such as http://www.alpertzalescastro.com.