3 doctors weighed in:
When should I give my child antibiotics if I take the wait-and-see approach for an ear infection?
3 doctors weighed in

Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Depends
Some controversy exists about otitis treatment & i find it more about comfort with the diagnosis than treatment itself.
If you are using a red drum as your standard, you will over call & over treat otitis. The drum can turn red simply by inserting the tool to examine it & viral uri's can make a drum red, neither need abx. If you use a fluid or puss backed red drum as your standard it needs abx now.

In brief: Depends
Some controversy exists about otitis treatment & i find it more about comfort with the diagnosis than treatment itself.
If you are using a red drum as your standard, you will over call & over treat otitis. The drum can turn red simply by inserting the tool to examine it & viral uri's can make a drum red, neither need abx. If you use a fluid or puss backed red drum as your standard it needs abx now.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
In brief: Why wait?
Ear infections hurt and decrease hearing.
.. Not a good combination for a child. Antibiotics are safe and decrease suffering. There are side effects to medication use, the flip side is dealing with the ongoing pain (usually 7-10 days) or the hearing loss which may persist up to 3 months after an acute infection with persistent fluid behind the ear drum.

In brief: Why wait?
Ear infections hurt and decrease hearing.
.. Not a good combination for a child. Antibiotics are safe and decrease suffering. There are side effects to medication use, the flip side is dealing with the ongoing pain (usually 7-10 days) or the hearing loss which may persist up to 3 months after an acute infection with persistent fluid behind the ear drum.
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
Thank
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