Are antibiotics the only way to treat a mild ear infection in a 1 year old?

I have a one year old baby. She has been herself, for the most part, aside for being more fussy and not sleeping well. When we took her to get a check up the doctor said she had a mild ear infection and suggested antibiotics. But I'm not entirely comfortable with antibiotics right off the bat. I would like to try something less disruptive first. Are there any sort of drops for ears or any other measures that can be taken before taking antibiotics are necessary?

14 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Best Answer

    Never put anything in your ear - or your child's ear. Take your doctor's advice.


    EDIT: Ignore Mr E, chiropractic cannot successfully treat an infected ear. 25% of Chiros in the UK are currently under investigation for making such bogus health claims.

  • Stacy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The antibiotics will be clearing up the ear infection, if it is now back with sickness it could be something else she has picked up there are a lot of committing bugs going round. After 6 days I would think there isn't much antibiotic left they usually run for 5 or 7 days so I would finish the antibiotics, give children's paracetamol for the fever and plenty of fluids for the sickness and see how she goes.

  • izzy
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    About half of all ear infections resolve themselves without antibiotics, but the rsk of complications is greater in babies under 2. If the infection doesn't clear up in 2-3 days antibiotics could be essential.

    Sometimes a GP will issue a prescription for an antibiotic with the advice to only use the prescription to get the antibiotic if the condition does not improve within 2-3 days.

    General advice...

    If you are still bottle feeding your baby, try to keep your baby in an upright position during feeds

    If she uses a dummy, use it only for settling her to sleep

    If the ear infection is causing pain, then give painkillers regularly until the pain eases. For example, paracetamol - speak to your pharmacist.

    See a doctor if she becomes more ill, does not improve over 2-3 days, or develops any symptoms that you are not sure about.

    Do not put any drops - garlic or otherwise -without checking with your doctor that they are suitable and that the eardrum is intact.

    A chiropractor is not at all likely to be of any use.

    If middle ear infections recur ask for a referral to an ENT specialist.

    Babies easily develop them, the little tube from the back of the nose to the middle ear is very short and very tiny. This tube normally opens briefly during yawning or swallowing. If a baby, or anyone of any age, has a cold or throat infection the mucus membrane gets swollen and the Eustachian tube can't open, so fluid collects in the middle ear. This fluid can get infected leading to pain. Alleviation and observation is advised, you know your baby better than anyone else

    Source(s): Years on an ENT unit
  • 10 years ago

    Though I am afraid many GPs ignore them the current guidelines on the management of otitis media advice against the routine use of antibiotics. I enclose the link to the SIGN guidelines. In summary this is because if you manage 100 children with otitis media with symptomatic treatment, ie fluids and paracetamol, at 48 hours all but 21 will be pain free. If you give 100 children with otitis media antibiotics at 48 hours all but 14 will be pain free. At first glance this suggests that you decrease the number of children in pain by 1/3, BUT around 12 children suffer antibiotic side effects, so the overall statistics are against their routine use.

    Source(s): GP for more years than I care to remember
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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Middle ear infections (otitis media) are very common in children. It can sometimes happen during a viral infection, such as a cold because the eustachian tube can become swollen or blocked, preventing the fluid from draining away and the fluid can become infected. Middle ear infections can occur without a cold and are also very common in children because their immune systems are still developing and their eustachian tube isn't fully developed. It tends to be short and horizontal, meaning that fluid can collect in the ear more easily. Children also have bigger adenoids which can interfere with the opening of the eustachian tube.

    Years ago, GPs used to prescribe antibiotics straight away in this instance, but studies show that they are seldom of any benefit. Most middle ear infections clear up within a few days without any treatment.

    What you could do is leave it for now, give paracetamol for pain (providing it's suitable for her), if symptoms don't clear up within the next few days and/or symptoms get worse, take her to see your Doctor again at which point antibiotics are indicated.

    Source(s): RN
  • 10 years ago

    Antibiotics are the best way if you want the ear infection to go away completely. A Warm Wash rag held firm up against your baby will help ease the pain. Drops will help. However, the best way and correct way is antibiotics.

  • 10 years ago

    It is difficult to answer your question without having a look at the child. Antibiotics are sometimes necessary to treat ear infection. Your doctor is a better person to advise.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    More and more people are choosing herbal and homeopathic remedies as a natural alternative to antibiotic treatment of earache. These treatments are safe and gentle on the body’s system and also support overall ear health. Herbs such as Pulsatilla (Pasque Flower), Chamomile and Echinacea purpurea act as a nerve relaxant and reduce inflammation while also stimulating the immune system. Homeopathic ingredients such as Hepar. Sulph, Belladonna, Pulsatilla and Levisticum radix treats the symptoms of ear infections and support the health and comfort of your child’s ears.

    Keep in mind that antibiotic should not be used for to treat an infection caused by a virus. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are a gentler and more natural alternative to treating ear infections and promoting overall ear health. These remedies are safe to use for children without the harsh side effects of antibiotic treatment.

    Smoking should be strictly prohibited inside the premises where your child spends most of the time as the smoke fills the ears with irritants thereby increasing the chances of an infection. Same holds true for soot and smoke from the fire in your stove. So, put out the fire in your woodstove unless you can’t do without it at all.

    You may get more info here

  • 10 years ago

    The doctor has experience and is educated on matters such as these. He has seen your kid and has determined that the best way to treat the infection is through antibiotics. We're just a bunch of strangers from the internet. Who will you trust with your kid's health?

    Mr. E is wrong, chiropractic will not get rid of infections. If you don't trust your kid's doctor, go to another one for a second opinion. However, make sure the second opinion is from another doctor too. Not from a homeopath or a chiropractor or a naturopath.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I agree with the Doc

    AND, from personal experience I treated my son at that age with olive oil that I soaked a crushed garlic clove in.


    Crush a garlic clove in olive oil at room temperature for about 20 or 30 seconds. Take a dropper and drop in 2 or 3 drops.

    Works like a charm and you don't need drugs.

    One time I did that when it was severe, because he was in a lot of pain late at night. I took him to the doc the next day to make sure. The doc said it looked like it was pretty severe, but it was on the mend so we don't need anything.

    cool eh?

    For a mild ear infection you should be fine, but if you are nervous, take him to the doc.

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