According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the guidelines indicating a possible treatment for an ear infection are now more clearly defined. Observation and close follow-up are encouraged first instead of antibiotic treatment for many children, including those under the age of two. When dealing with recurrent ear infections, the guidelines advise doctors and parents when it is time to see a specialist.
These new guidelines were set in hopes of decreasing antibiotic use. The biggest change in the new guidelines compared to thelast guidelines that were issued in 2004 is the definition of the diagnosis itself. Even though the diagnosis is now more clear-cut and precise, it can still become tricky because of the different stages of an ear infection.