Health News

Dramatic increases in ear infections across Central Florida

Otitis Media, or middle ear infection, usually occurs on the heels of a cold, flu, or any kind of upper respiratory infection (URI). And this year, Florida Hospital Centra Care physicians have seen a dramatic increase in summer colds. So it’s no surprise they’re also seeing an uptick of related complications like ear infections.

In fact, the following locations reported an increase in the condition: 

Sanford – up 800%
University – up 300% (kids)
Sand Lake – up 300%
Lee Road – up 300%
Kissimmee – up 700%
Clermont – up 300% (kids)
Daytona – up 400% (kids)
Ormond Beach – up 600% (kids)


But it’s summer, not cold & flu season!
Even though Otitis Media coincides more with the winter months, physicians do still treat upper respiratory infections even in the height of summer.

During an URI, bacteria gathers in the respiratory tract, nose, and/or sinuses, eventually finding its way to the middle ear causing the infection. So if your little one is battling one of those summer colds, be sure to also keep an eye on these symptoms:

● Constant tugging of the ear
● Can’t quite get comfortable when attempting to sleep
● Fluid draining from the ear
● Loss of appetite or trouble eating (chewing can amplify the ear pain)
● Shows visible discomfort or pain in the ears
● Seems particularly fussy
● Muffled hearing

Even though the condition is fairly common, if left untreated, Otitis Media could progressively get worse and may cause hearing loss. So if you suspect an ear infection, take your little one to a Centra Care location near you for diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the severity, antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed.

Fortunately, once they’re diagnosed and on the appropriate medicine, little ones don’t have to miss out on the poolside fun. As long as there is no drainage coming from the ear, your child should be ok to swim. However, remind them not to dunk their head underwater as this can force water up the nose and into the eustachian tubes which link to the middle ear.