Health Plus: Ear infections - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Ear infections

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Talk to parents of young children and they've likely dealt with ear infections.

Knowing how to treat them and whether to consider tubes can be confusing.

In Health Plus, Tara Thomas talks with a pediatrician about the latest recommendations.

If your children are like 15-month-old Adelyn, they get ear infections.

"Three total so far. The first two the only symptom was not sleeping. The third round was right after Christmas, like in January, and that was full blown fever," says her mom, Eileen Salkowski.

An estimated 3 out of 4 kids have one by age 4.

Doctors at Covenant Clinic in Waterloo say they're usually triggered by a cold virus.

"So whenever the person or the child have a cold his ears start to be congested and fill with fluids and start to be infected somehow," says Covenant Clinic's Dr. Suhaib Kazmouz.

Though tough to prevent, doctors say ear infections are easily treated.

Yet some children may not respond well to antibiotics or eventually need tubes if the blockage impacts their hearing and speech.

"Whenever it's affecting the hearing for this child who is still learning how to speak it's going to affect eventually the speech for the child," he says.

Doctors advise waiting at least through one summer, when colds are not as common, to see if your child's ear infections persist before getting tubes.

"If she continues to get it, yeah, we'll have to go the tube route. I had a sibling that had them so it doesn't scare me. I know it makes them better," says Eileen.

Good news for future moms and dads, an ear infection vaccine is in the works.

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