The recommended treatment for an ear infection is evolving. Antibiotics have been a common treatment option for years. Now, University of Kentucky ear, nose, and throat specialist Matthew Bush says ‘watchful waiting’ might be the best approach. “There is a move to try and distinguish between infection and inflammation. Those are two different processes, although inflammation often accompanies infection,” said Bush.
Bush says the evaluation for a child with ear discomfort goes beyond the ear exam.
“Just looking in the ear and saying yes, it’s infected or no it’s not infected is not the simple way of determining ear infections. It’s taking the whole clinical picture of the vital signs with a temperature along with the clinical appearance of a child as well as any other concerning physical findings in determining what to do,” added Bush.
Still, when there’s fever, pain, and the potential of hearing loss, Doctor Matthew Bush says antibiotics are certainly the best strategy.