Smelly Baby Ears: Beware of Ear Infection Symptoms

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Smelly Baby Ears: Beware of Ear Infection Symptoms
Smelly Baby Ears: Beware of Ear Infection Symptoms

Don't ignore the unpleasant smell that comes from the baby's ears because smelly ears can be a symptom of an ear infection. But don't worry, you can do treatment at home to deal with it

Basically, earwax is the body's natural way of protecting the ear from the entry of germs and foreign objects, such as dust, that have the potential to infect the eardrum. However, if your baby's earwax smells and is accompanied by white or yellowish discharge, this could be a sign that there is a problem in his ear.

Smelly Baby Ears: Beware of Ear Infection Symptoms - Alodokter

Baby smelly ears generally occur due to middle ear infection (otitis media), which is caused by disruption of the function of the eustachian tube, which is the channel that connects the middle ear to the throat.

The eustachian tube serves to equalize air pressure in the outer ear and the middle ear. If the eustachian tube is not working properly, it will cause a buildup of fluid behind the baby's eardrum.

If fluid behind the eardrum builds up and can't drain out, this can trigger the growth of bacteria and viruses, which will eventually lead to a middle ear infection.

Symptoms of Ear Infection in Babies

In addition to smelly baby ears, the following are signs and symptoms of ear infections in your little one that you can recognize:

1. Yellowish white discharge from the ear

This symptom indicates a small hole in the eardrum. However, you don't need to worry, this white or yellowish discharge will stop once the infection is treated.

2. Fussy

Inside ear infections can cause pain in the baby's ears. The pain he feels can cause him to become restless and cranky.

3. Loss of appetite

When a baby has an ear infection, he will tend to be lazy to eat and drink, because ear infections make chewing and swallowing painful.

4. Difficulty sleeping

When you have an ear infection, your baby may also have trouble sleeping because lying down will make the ear infection more painful.

5. Fever

Like infectious diseases in general, ear infections can also cause a baby to have a fever. This is because fever is the body's natural immune response to fight infection.

6. Hearing difficulties and body imbalance problems

The buildup of fluid in the middle ear can interfere with your little one's hearing. If the infection has spread to the inner ear, this can upset the body's balance. Usually these symptoms are seen in children who can walk, namely from an unstable gait.

How to Overcome Smelly Baby Ears due to Infection

In general, baby's ears smell because the infection can heal on its own without requiring any treatment. However, if the infection does not go away after 2-3 days, you need to check your little one's condition to the doctor.

Baby smelly ears due to bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics according to a doctor's prescription. Antibiotics should usually be used for 7–10 days. If your baby has a fever, the doctor may also prescribe pain relievers and fever-reducing medications, such as paracetamol.

Home Treatments to Overcome Baby Ear Smells due to Infection

The following are some home care tips that you can do to deal with smelly baby ears due to infection:

1. Give a warm compress

Put a warm compress on your little one's ear for about 10-15 minutes. This can help reduce the pain of ear infections.

2. Maintain adequate fluids

Making sure your baby is drinking enough water when he has an ear infection is also important. This is because every time your baby swallows water, the eustachian tube in his ear opens. That way, the fluid trapped in the ear can drain out.

3. Elevate baby's head

You can also elevate your little one's head to speed up the drying of the fluid in the middle ear. However, don't place the pillow directly under the baby's head, it's better to place 2 piles of pillows under the mattress.

4. Avoid using dot

The use of pacifiers or pacifiers is not recommended for babies with ear infections. The reason is, using a pacifier to calm a baby who has ear pain is at risk of causing repeated ear infections.

In addition, there are several things you can do to prevent infection in your baby's ears. Here are some of them:

  • Give breast milk for at least 6-12 months because the antibodies in breast milk will protect the baby from ear infections.
  • Breastfeed your baby in a semi-erect position if you are bottle-feeding formula or breast milk, so the milk doesn't flow down the eustachian tube.
  • Keep your little one away from exposure to cigarette smoke because exposure to cigarette smoke can make ear infections worse.

Babies and children are more prone to ear infections because the eustachian tube is smaller and shorter, so it becomes easily blocked. As your little one grows, his eustachian tube will enlarge, so the fluid can drain more easily.

Immediately see a doctor if after 3 days of treatment, the baby's ear smell does not go away and there is no improvement in symptoms. Especially if your little one has a fever and is accompanied by blood or pus from the ear.

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