Ear pain is common in children and can have many causes—including ear infection (otitis media), swimmer’s ear (infection of the skin in the ear canal), pressure from a cold or sinus infection, teeth pain radiating up the jaw to the ear, and others. . To tell the difference, your pediatrician will need to examine your child’s ear. In fact, an in-office exam is still the best way for your pediatrician to make an accurate diagnosis. If your child’s ear pain is accompanied by a high fever, involves both ears, or if your child has other signs of illness, your pediatrician may decide that an antibiotic is the best treatment.

Amoxicillin is the preferred antibiotic for middle ear infections—except when there is an allergy to penicillin or chronic or recurrent infections.

Many true ear infections are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics. If your pediatrician suspects your child’s ear infection may be from a virus, he or she will talk with you about the best ways to help relieve your child’s ear pain until the virus runs its course.

 

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics