It's not unusual for kids to complain of pain in their ears. Usually, this pain is caused by an ear infection. Occasionally, it is due to a foreign object or even a bug having been introduced to the ear. Both of these issues require attention from the pediatrician. But what can you expect when you take your child to the pediatrician for ear pain?
Simple, Visual Tests
The first thing a doctor will do when you take your child in for ear pain is simply look in their ears. You've probably seen this being done before. The doctor simply shines a light in your child's ear and looks inside using a mirror. This is painless, and it can tell your child's pediatrician a lot. If there's something in their ear, the doctor will see it. They can then simply grasp and remove the item, in most cases. If there is an ear infection, the doctor will see redness and swelling inside the ear and can make a diagnosis based on these observations.
A Possible Hearing Test
Depending on the severity of the ear infection or other issue, the doctor may want to check whether your child's hearing is impacted. This can give more of an indication of how serious an infection is. Your child will probably be asked to put headphones on and raise their hand whenever they hear a noise. This only takes a few minutes.
Pain Management Recommendations
Once the pediatrician has confirmed that your child has an ear infection or ear obstruction (and has removed the obstruction, if relevant), they will tell you how you can keep your child's pain under control in the coming days. They may prescribe a pain reliever, and they'll probably recommend doing things like holding a heating pad against the ear or letting your child take a warm shower.
If an ear infection is to blame for your child's ear pain, then the pediatrician will prescribe an antibiotic. The antibiotic will help kill the bacteria that are causing the infection and pain. It will be very important for your child to continue taking the medication for the full prescribed period, which is often 10 days.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect when taking your child to the pediatrician for ear pain. Pediatricians are used to dealing with this common issue and should be able to effectively treat it.
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