Total IgE: A measurement of the total amount of IgE circulating in a patient's blood can be helpful but is elevated in only one-half of allergic patients. RAST testing is a more specific blood test for allergy. This is a radio-immune assay where a patient's serum is incubated with different allergens and antigen/antibody complexes are then measured. This is not as sensitive as skin testing and certainly more costly, and cannot therefore be used as a screening tool. A smear of nasal mucus, checked for eosinophils (allergy mediating cells), can be helpful if the percentage of eosinophils is over 5%. An adenoid x-ray to assess how large the airway is at the back of the nose is also helpful. Physical examination can sometimes distinguish allergy from viral upper respiratory infections, but this is often quite difficult.
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is
important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply
to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and
editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.
If you have had an ear infection with discharge for a while, you may find that you don’t hear as well as you did before. If the infection isn’t treated, your hearing might get worse.
If your child has a long-term ear infection, it could cause hearing difficulties and other problems. And if a child can’t hear properly during the first three years of life, it’s harder for the child to learn to speak and understand language. This can lead to problems at school.
There’s also a slight risk of more serious problems if you don’t get treatment. These conditions are rare. They include infection of the large bone behind your ear (mastoiditis) and extra skin growing in your ear (cholesteatoma). These can be treated with antibiotics or an operation. There is also a very slight risk of an ear infection spreading into your brain and causing meningitis or a brain abscess.