Treatment usually involves administration of oral antibiotics. Recent studies have shown, however, that observation without medical treatment may be appropriate in some children over 2 years of age.
Recurrent or chronic problems may prompt a visit to the ear, nose and throat physician where a hearing test may be obtained as part of the standard evaluation of the child.
When ear infections are recurrent or if the fluid associated with the infection does not clear, there is a surgical option. A pressure equalizing tube (PE tube) may be appropriate. PE tubes are tiny hollow tubes that decrease the frequency of ear infections by allowing air in and helping fluid to drain appropriately. Your child may still get ear infections but the PE tube will allow them to be treated easier and quicker.
Additionally, removal of the adenoids may be helpful in some children who have had repeated problems or who have severe nasal obstruction.