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Ear Infection

Ear InfectionsMy child of two has had draining ears for a month. We have used many medicines, but the drainage continues. Will this condition cause him to be deaf?

Doctor’s Advice:

Drainage from the wears may be due to infection of the inner ear of the ear canal. Normal wax in the ear is sometimes thin and will appear like the drainage from infection. Usually drainage that has an odor is due to an infection, and every attempt should be made by the physician to clear up the infection before there has been damage to delicate hearing structures of the ear. If a serious infection is present for a long time, there may be permanent damage, but it can be determined only by physician’s careful examination of the ear.

Painful infections may develop in the ear canal that without the examination of a physician may appear to be due to an infection deeper in the ear.

Infection in the ear canal is particularly common in children who swim a great deal, and they may find an earplug helpful when swimming. Occasionally young children put objects into the ear that tend to irritate the ear canal and result in drainage. When objects that tend to swell, such as beans and corn, are inserted in the outer ear they usually become wedged so firmly in the canal that a physician will need to remove them. Because of the danger of damaging the eardrum, it is unwise for parents to probe around in the ear canal, trying to remove objects.

There are many medications available today to clear infections in the ear, but occasionally it is necessary for the surgeon to do an operation, such as on the mastoid, to help clear a deep-seated, prolonged infection. Fortunately, most infections can treated without an operation.

Don’t take any chances with anything so valuable as the hearing.


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