Ear infections are health problems anyone can experience; however, babies tend to develop more ear infections than adults. In the past, doctors would usually treat ear infections by prescribing an antibiotic. While this is still a common treatment option, more doctors are staying away from this habit and are encouraging people to wait it out. If your baby has an ear infection, it is important to understand why many doctors are taking this approach when treating ear infections.
Ear Infections Often Go Away On Their Own
More than 50% of kids that get ear infections feel better within one day without taking any medication at all. In other words, an ear infection can be painful and irritating at first, but it can often clear up on its own.
Ear infections typically develop when fluid does not drain from the ear properly. This fluid often contains bacteria, but there are also times when there is no bacteria present. In either case, it is possible for an ear infection to go away without treating it in anyway. If a medical issue does not require medication, it may be best not to take it, because medication can sometimes cause side effects.
Antibiotics Side Effects
Antibiotics have been used to treat all kinds of bacterial infections for many years, and they are excellent at doing this. The problem is that antibiotics can also cause harm to the body. Some of the side effects your baby could experience from antibiotics include diarrhea, cramping, diaper rash, and vomiting.
Antibiotics work by targeting and eliminating bacteria in the body. There are numerous different types of antibiotics and each is designed to target a certain type of bacteria. Amoxicillin is a penicillin-based antibiotic and is the most common one used to treat ear infections because it is affordable and works well for targeting bacteria in the ears. The downside to taking antibiotics is the way they can target other bacteria in the body.
When you give your child an antibiotic for an ear infection, this medication may destroy some of the good bacteria in your child's body. This is why taking antibiotics often leads to digestive issues. If a person takes too many antibiotics, he or she could be left with lifelong digestive issues.
The second problem with antibiotics is that a person can become immune to them, and this can happen more so if the person does not take the entire dosage. If you give your child the antibiotic for a few days and forget to give him or her the rest, the child's body may develop an immunity to the antibiotic. If this happens and your child develops a bacterial infection, taking antibiotics will not solve the problem.
What Your Doctor Might Do
If you believe your baby has an ear infection, you should take him or her to the doctor. The doctor will examine the child's ears and take his or her temperature. If the doctor detects an ear infection, he or she might prescribe an antibiotic to you, but the doctor might also give you a suggestion.
The doctor is likely to tell you to hold off getting the prescription filled for a day or two. If the child's symptoms go away on their own, you can avoid the side effects of antibiotics. If the symptoms do not get better or if they get worse, you could then fill the prescription and give the medication to your baby.
Antibiotics are good for certain illnesses, but it is always better to try to let a health problem go away on its own if possible. To learn more about this, contact a medical clinic that offers pediatric services today.