Seek professional care for ear infections in children… parents urged
An Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Nurse at the Madina Polyclinic, Rawlings Circle, Ms Esther Osei, has urged parents to seek professional care for the treatment of ear infections in their children.
This, she said, was necessary because if left untreated, recurrent ear infections, especially in children, could lead to moderate, mild, severe or irreversible hearing impairment.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday, Ms Osei, who is a Principal Nursing Officer, explained that some of the symptoms of ear infection in children included high temperature, pain in the ear, trouble sleeping, clumsiness, pulling of the ears and fluid draining from the ear, among others.
She stated that ear infections were common among children because their immune systems were underdeveloped and less equipped to fight off infections.
Another reason, she said, was because the Eustachian tubes of children are smaller and more horizontal, which makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of their ears.
Eustachian tubes are tubes that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat. They help drain fluid and equalise the air pressure inside the ears. Sometimes a person’s Eustachian tubes can become blocked due to colds, allergies or infections.
Touching on other disease conditions that could lead to hearing impairment among children if not treated properly, Ms Osei mentioned that mumps, measles and meningitis were conditions that needed proper evaluation and care by professional health care givers.
Some toxic medications, she said, had also been proven to cause hearing loss among both children and adults.
Some of these medicines, she mentioned, had been withdrawn from the markets while others were still available.
The Principal Nursing Officer, therefore, advised against the use of over-the-counter medications for the treatment of ear infections, adding that some conditions required proper diagnosis and professional care.
“Do not use over-the-counter medicines for ear infections. It is always advisable to seek treatment for ear problems from ENT specialists only because they know the exact type of medications for every ear problem. Hearing loss is not a joke therefore people must learn not to take ear pains and infections, especially in children, lightly to minimise any potential complications.”
“ENT specialists are well equipped to identify and manage ear problems, providing appropriate interventions to prevent further damage and promote optimal healing,” she added.
According to the ENT Nurse, addressing hearing loss through proper diagnosis, hearing aids, assistive devices and communication strategies could go a long way in significantly mitigating consequences of hearing impairment and improve overall wellbeing.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU