Chronic ear infections, or otitis media, is a common childhood illness. As we age, our anatomy changes allowing for better drainage from the inner ear, which decreases our risk for infection. Most children will have less frequent infections by middle adolescence. It is normal to have residual fluid, also known as an effusion, behind the ear drum for 2+ months after the infection itself has cleared, thus raising the question- Is it a continuing infection, or simply fluid?

Ear infection vs. fluid in the ear, which one is it?

Over treatment of infections can lead to antibiotic resistance and unnecessary surgical procedures, such as ear tubes. It is very important to follow up with your child’s healthcare provider after the treatment for the infection is completed to track the progression of healing. If the fluid accumulation does not resolve after a reasonable amount of time as determined by a medical professional, it may affect your child’s hearing, speech and developmental milestones.

If your child suffers from frequent ear infections, an ENT specialist can be very helpful in ensuring the long term health of your child. Call our office today at 716-832- 8500 to make an appointment with one of our providers.