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

Health Plus: managing ear infections

Traer (KWWL) -- Chances are your child or grandchild will get an ear infection. They're about as commonly diagnosed as colds in kids.

She'd been there, done that with her 3-year-old. Now Mandy Boldt's one-year-old is battling ear infections.

"Pulling at the ears, one kid will do that and the other won't. And you just can't figure it out so it's frustrating," said Boldt.

The Traer mom's experience is typical. 75% of children reportedly have an ear infection by age three.

"They cry and cry and cry. You rock and then you feed. You do what you can. In the end there's really nothing much you can do until the medicine starts kicking in," said Boldt.

Doctors say colds commonly trigger the condition that traps fluid. Antibiotics can kill the ear infection and bring pain relief, but they're recommended for kids two and under.

"If the child is over two years of age, no fever, eating and drinking normally, just has the ear pain and findings of an ear infection that may be one of those that will get better on their own," recommends Dr. Matthew Ulven of Traer's Covenant Clinic.

Mandy's older son eventually got tubes and got relief. Dr. Ulven says ear tubes make sense when infections persist.

"If the child is having recurrent ear infections or, particularly, ear infections that don't clear," he says.

So don't be afraid to pursue medical intervention if your child is too young to tell you his ear hurts. Ulven says there is a genetic predisposition to ear infections.

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