Health Watch — Kids' Stuff: Ear Infections

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Kids have medical issues of their own, and we’ll be addressing kids’ stuff this week on Health Watch. Middle ear infections are the main reason children are prescribed antibiotics, and new research shows that the kind of antibiotics used can make a big difference.

Antibiotic ear drops and oral antibiotics — in pill and liquid form — both work to cure middle ear infections, but the drops work faster and better in children who have tubes in their ears. Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says drops allow doctors to apply more powerful medicine exactly where it’s needed, and the tubes allow the medicine better access to the affected area behind the ear drum. Using ear drops also helps avoid antibiotic resistance because the medicine doesn’t go throughout the body.   


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February 2007

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