Quick Answer: Can ear infections cause balance problems in toddlers?

When an ear infection occurs, fluid can build up in the inner ear where our body’s balance system is located. This collection of fluid can cause dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems in both adults and children.

Why would a toddler be off balance?

Common causes of balance problems in children range from ear infections, severe headaches, and certain medications to more serious neurological disorders, head or neck injuries, and genetic conditions.

Can an ear infection cause unsteadiness?

Inner ear infections can cause the structures of the inner ear to become inflamed, which can lead to a number of symptoms . These include nausea, dizziness, a sensation of imbalance, and hearing impairments.

Can an ear infection cause loss of balance?

Vestibular neuritis

If the inner ear becomes infected, usually from a virus, it can cause this inner ear condition. When the vestibular nerve swells from the infection, the signals to the brain are thrown off and result in vertigo, dizziness, balance problems, nausea and even difficulty concentrating.

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What are the symptoms of an ear infection in a toddler?

Ear Infection Signs and Symptoms

  • Tugging or pulling the ear.
  • Crying and irritability.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Fever, especially in younger children.
  • Fluid draining from the ear.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Difficulty hearing or responding to auditory cues.

What neurological disorders cause balance problems in toddlers?

Vestibular disorders, cerebellar ataxia and developmental coordination disorder (also called dyspraxia) are three broad and common types of disorders that cause balance and coordination problems in children.

What are the symptoms of an inner ear infection?

Symptoms of an inner ear infection include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Earache.
  • Ear pain.
  • Issues with balance.
  • Trouble hearing.
  • Ringing in the ear.
  • Spinning sensation.

What causes inner ear balance problems?

Head injury, strenuous physical activity, ear infections, and atmospheric pressure changes can cause inner ear fluid to leak into your middle ear. This can cause balance problems. Sea travel can cause balance problems that may take hours, days, or months to clear up.

How do you know if an ear infection has spread to the brain?

The deadliest complication of otitis media is a brain abscess, an accumulation of pus in the brain due to an infection. The most common symptoms are headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, neurologic deficits and altered consciousness.

Can ear infection cause tremors?

These symptoms are present in a wide variety of medical conditions, including ear infections, middle ear inflammation, or having a tremor. Keep track of your symptoms. If you are concerned about your symptoms, then you should contact your doctor right away.

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How does inner ear affect balance?

Canals that loop around your inner ear contain fluid and tiny hairlike sensors that help you maintain a sense of balance. The fluid moves up and down, letting your brain know which direction you’re facing.

What are the symptoms of ear imbalance?


  • Sense of motion or spinning (vertigo)
  • Feeling of faintness or lightheadedness (presyncope)
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness.
  • Falling or feeling like you might fall.
  • Feeling a floating sensation or dizziness.
  • Vision changes, such as blurriness.
  • Confusion.

Can a clogged ear cause dizziness?

Impacted earwax can cause a dizzy sensation because our ears are integral to our ability to maintain our balance. If the impacted wax is pushed up against the eardrum it can affect the signals sent from the ear to the brain which in turn can affect our balance.

When should I take my toddler to the doctor for an ear infection?

If your child is age 6 months or older and has a mild earache, you can wait for up to 48 hours to see if the infection gets better on its own. Talk to your doctor if your child’s pain doesn’t get better with an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as acetaminophen) or if other symptoms last for more than 48 hours.

Can toddler have ear infection without fever?

Fever may come with an ear infection, but not always, Shu says. Parents might spot other symptoms, such as earaches, ear drainage, trouble hearing or sleeping, ear tugging, poor appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. But “for many children, it’s just fussiness, crying more than usual, being clingy,” Shu says.

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How do you treat an ear infection in a toddler?

For an uncomplicated ear infection, children between 6 months and 2 years usually take an antibiotic for 10 days. Children over 2 years of age will take an antibiotic for 5 days. The doctor might suggest acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the child’s pain.