Middle Ear Fluid: After Your Child's Visit
Your Care Instructions
Fluid often builds up inside the ear during a cold or allergies. Usually the fluid drains away, but sometimes a small tube in the ear, called the eustachian tube, stays blocked for months.
Symptoms of fluid buildup may include:
- Popping, ringing, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. Children often have trouble describing this feeling. They may rub their ears trying to relieve the pressure.
- Trouble hearing. Children who have problems hearing may seem like they are not paying attention. Or they may be grumpy or cranky.
- Balance problems and dizziness.
In most cases, you can treat your child at home.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
How can you care for your child at home?
- In most children, the fluid clears up within a few months without treatment. Have your child's hearing tested if the fluid lasts longer than 3 months.
- If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
When should you call for help?
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- Your child still has pain or a fever.
- Your child has any new symptoms, such as hearing problems.
- Your child does not get better as expected.
Care instructions adapted under license by Slm. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.