Medical history for an ear infection

Your child's medical history provides important clues for diagnosing ear infections. Your health professional may ask:

  • What symptoms is your child having? How long has he or she had symptoms? What have you done to treat the symptoms?
  • Does your child have a cold, or has he or she had a cold or other upper respiratory infection lately? If so, how was it treated?
  • If your child has had ear infections before, how often and how many has he or she had?
  • What treatment was used for previous ear infections? How soon did the infections clear up?

The health professional may also ask:

  • Does anyone who cares for your child smoke cigarettes?
  • Does your child attend a child care center?
  • If your baby is young, is he or she being breast-fed or bottle-fed? If the baby is being bottle-fed, is he or she allowed to lie down while taking a bottle?
  • Is there a family history of ear infections?
  • Does your child have a breathing problem such as asthma?
  • Does your child have a history of allergies?
  • Is your child generally healthy?

A health professional may ask questions about your child's hearing and speech development. This is because a child who can't hear well may have difficulty learning to speak clearly.

Last Updated: February 2, 2009

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