Far and away, otitis media, or ear infections as they are commonly known, are one of the most common conditions treated by primary child care providers. Statistics no doubt vary from investigator to investigator, but I generally tell parents that about 60% of children will experience one infection in the first year while about 40% will have two bouts, and around 30% will have three.
Typical symptoms are ear pain, sleeplessness or waking up crying at night, tugging on ears, and temporary reduction in their usual hearing. Remarkably, though I see about four to six children a month who have an ear infection that is asymptomatic and found on a well check exam. Continue reading