Ear infections: New treatment options recommended

February 25, 2013 2:57:32 PM PST
Researchers are recommending new treatment options for ear infections.

Ear infections are the second most common disease of childhood and the reason most children visit the doctor.

It is inflammation or an infection of the middle ear which can be caused by fluid.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines for doctors and patients.

These new guidelines recommend several treatment options including antibiotics, pain relievers or carefully monitoring symptoms, based on a child's age and the severity of the symptoms.

The goal is to make sure doctors prescribe antibiotics more effectively.

If your child is experiencing any symptoms, researchers emphasize it's better to get them to the pediatrician's office sooner rather than later.

"Sometimes they'll stick their fingers in their ears. Sometimes they'll rub their ear on the carpet if they're young. Sometimes they'll actually tell you or they'll start tugging on their ears. So, sometimes that's just stuffiness from a cold, but sometimes an ear infection and the only way to tell is to actually look," Cleveland Clinic Children's Hopsital's Dr. Emma Raizman said.

Doctors point out that if a child has multiple ear infections over the course of a year, he or she may need tubes to prevent fluid buildup and to decrease the pain.

The full list of guidelines is in the journal "Pediatrics."