Treating and Preventing Otitis Media (Ear Infections) in Children
Friday, April 4, 2014
More than 80 percent of children have at least one episode of otitis media by the time they are 3 years of age. Otitis media, a common type of ear infection, occurs when there is inflammation located in the middle ear. It can be a result of a cold, sore throat, or respiratory infection.
Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its guidelines for treating acute otitis media (AOM)
, which is the type of ear infection that is one of the most common illnesses in children. The AAP’s guidelines
included “recommendations for treatment with antibiotics and pain relievers, or observation alone, based on the child’s age and severity of symptoms.”
To help prevent otitis media, parents should avoid exposing children to any tobacco products or second hand smoke, and keep up-to-date with children’s recommended immunizations. Additionally, breastfeeding babies for 12 months or more can help them obtain antibodies to fight off and prevent ear infections.
In this video, Children’s National Health System’s pediatric otolaryngologist Brian Reilly, MD
, discusses the new guidelines, including the emphasis on using observation as an initial treatment option, as well as age groups that are more prone to otitis media. Related Stories:
About the Expert
Brian Reilly, MD, is Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Children’s National Health System. Dr. Reilly is an active clinical researcher with specialized interests in hearing loss, cochlear implants, otitis media, obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic tonsillitis.