Helping you with… Ear Ache

Hello there my name is Doctor Andy Knox I’m one of the partners at Ash Trees Surgery in Carnforth which is part of the
Federation of practices that all work together across North Lancashire trying
to deliver the best general practice that we can for the North of this county
and also working as part of Better Care Together around Morecambe Bay. I know as
a parent one of the most distressing things to see if your kid crying because
they got ear ache, my daughter gets recurrent ear infections and I know how
tough it can be to watch that happen but actually 95% of all ear infections are
actually caused by a virus and so most times if you let your kids immune system
fight it off they’ll get over an ear infection on their own. When they
complain of a really really sore ear and they’ve got a high temperature there are
things that you can do as a parent just to support them through the process paracetamol and ibuprofen nice and
regularly, we say three to four hours apart just to keep the pain of bay and keep
the temperature down. Let them rest ear aches horrible things to have give them some just love and compassion
and encourage them that their own body is going to fight this infection off on
its own. Very rarely you might need to come and see a GP when your child’s got ear ache
and the nurse practitioner or the GP will help understand whether or not you
need some antibiotics. I’m gonna give you the clues of when an antibiotic might be
needed so that you don’t have to go to all the effort of trying to book a GP’s
appointment when you’re gonna get that frustrating advice that it’s a virus go
home and that can be a very annoying thing to hear sometimes so remember
actually most ear infections are caused by viruses and the immune system’s
fantastic fighting them off. The things to look out for these if your child got any
rate lasting more than five days that’s often a sign that the bacteria’s got in
and you might need some antibiotics you’ll also see that they’ve got a
temperature this consistently higher than 38 degrees despite the paracetamol
and ibuprofen, if you see puss coming out of one of that area is that’s a sure
sign that there’s bacteria in the ear, that’s gonna need either some antibiotic drops
or some medicine and the fourth thing is that if you’ve got ear ache on both sides
at the same time. If those things are happening do give you a nurse
practitioner or GP a ring and get an appointment to get your child seen and
assessed further but actually remember most times ear ache on its own, especially on
one side will get better completely without the need for antibiotics. Support
your child, allow them to rest, give them plenty of
fluids, give them regular pain relief through paracetamol and ibuprofen and you’ll
find actually they fight it off themselves in three to five days, because our own
immune systems are brilliant at fighting viruses but they just need a bit of time

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