Cold and Flu Season
AOM often occurs after a cold. Viruses cause OME (fluid in the middle ear), and then bacteria can grow in the fluid leading to AOM.
Injury to the Ear
Foreign objects, like cotton swabs and bobby pins, can cause cuts and bruises in the ear canal that can get infected, causing acute otitis external AOE.
Exposure to cigarette smoke can lead to more colds and more AOM.
The tendency to develop AOM can run in families.
There are ways to relieve symptoms associated with ear infections – like ear pain – whether or not antibiotics are needed. Consider using acetaminophen
or ibuprofen to relieve pain or fever. Ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist what medications are safe for you or your loved one to take.
Antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, are used to treat severe ear infections or ear infections that last longer than 2–3 days.
If your child has a fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higher, discharge or fluid coming from the ear, symptoms are much worse, or symptoms last for more than two or three days for AOM, you should contact your healthcare professional. If your child has symptoms of OME for more than one month or hearing loss, contact your healthcare professional.