|Ear - Congestion|
|Back to Index|
|Does this describe your child's symptoms?|
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR EAR CONGESTION|
- More Chewing and Swallowing: Swallow water or other fluid while the nose is pinched closed. (Reason: creates a vacuum in the nose that helps the Eustachian tube to open up.) After age 6, can also use chewing gum.
- Decongestant Nasal Spray (Age 12 years or older):
- If chewing doesn't help after 1 or 2 hours, use a long-acting decongestant nasal spray. You can ask your pharmacist to recommend a brand.
- Dosage: 1 spay per side, 2 times per day as needed.
- Don't use more than 5 days. (Reason: rebound swelling)
- An oral decongestant (e.g., pseudoephedrine) may help if the nasal spray is not available (See Dosage table).
- Nasal allergies can cause ear congestion.
- If your child has hay fever or other allergies, give an oral antihistamine such as Benadryl (See Dosage table).
- See Hay Fever topic for details.
- Expected Course: The symptoms usually clear within 2 days (48 hours) with treatment. It's safe for your child to swim.
- Prevention for Airplane/Mountain Travel:
- Swallow during descent using a pacifier or fluids
- Children over age 6 can chew on gum during descent
- Yawning also can open the middle ear
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Ear pain occurs
- Ear congestion lasts over 48 hours
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.