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Child Development Topics..

You are here : home > Child Development > Speech, Language, Hearing and Vision > Coping with Ear Infection

Coping with Ear Infection

Ear infection in babies is a common problem. Ear infection is mainly due to poor hygiene or due to infection of virus and bacteria. Ear infections can be easily identified by its symptoms. An ENT deals with the infection of ear. Ear infections can be very bothersome. To prevent ear infections basic hygiene should be maintained. To get more information on ear infections, its causes, symptoms and ways of prevention, read on A to Z of ear infections.

Ear infection is a very common childhood problem. It is mostly caused by germs such as bacteria and virus. It is mostly the middle ear that gets affected and when these external elements sneak into the system, they cause trouble. As we are aware that the human ear is divided into three sections depending on its features and functions as the outer, middle and inner ear. When the outer ear gets affected by germs, the problem gets a fancy name – swimmer’s ear.

The Structure of the Ear Portion that Gets Commonly Affected

The middle portion of the ear basically looks like a tiny packet filled with air. It is positioned just behind the ear drum. When the germs reach the middle ear, this space gets filled up with a fluid. It is commonly known as pus and it comprises of certain cells that can effectively fight these germs. Due to the pus buildup, the individual feels as if there is a balloon inside his ear. With the passage of time there is this sensation that the balloon can really pop any moment and this can be really hurting.

What Causes the Ear Infection?

In order to explain this, it is first necessary to understand that there is a passage known as the Eustachian tube that links the middle portion of the ear and the throat. The two Eustachian tubes positioned on each side functions by keeping the pressure from building up by allowing the movement of air in and out of the middle ear. Infections are common in babies as the Eustachian tubes are very small and less equipped to keep the germs out of the system.

It is important to know that ear infections are not contagious. However, cold is contagious and it can very well lead to ear infection. The common symptoms of ear infection are:

  • Pain in the ear
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • High temperature

How is it Treated?

An ENT specialist or an audiologist first need to find what has caused the infection and the type of infection. He looks into the ear canal with the help of a flashlight called otoscope. This enables him to check the condition of the ear drum, which is a fine membrane positioned between the outer and middle ear.

A tiny puff of air is blown into the ear to check whether the ear drum moves a bit. If it does it marks a healthy condition and if it is infected, it will stay stagnant. This is caused due to the presence of pus on the other side of the membrane. The ear drum will appear red and slight bulge can also be noticed. A pain reliever and an antibiotic are usually prescribed to treat ear infections. If the child is found to suffer from frequent infections, the doctor might prescribe audiogram to test the condition of hearing along with a tympanogram to check the movement of the ear drum.

Ear Infections can be Prevented By

Staying away from smoking can prove to be of great help. Cigarette smoke is found to render a negative impact on the Eustachian tubes. So the proper working of the Eustachian tubes can be ascertained by staying away from people and places clouded by cigarette smoke. Since cold is also found to have a big impact, it is advisable to stay protected from cold as well. Some of the basic care routine should be:

  • One should stay away from people already suffering from cold
  • Nose and eyes should not be touched frequently
  • Hands must always be kept clean by frequent and thorough washing with antiseptic hand wash.

Good hygiene is a great way to stay protected from those annoying germs like bacteria and viruses that create problems in the ear.

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Rubina.6 years ago
Great article. the tips for preventing ear infections are great. One should follow the tips to prevent infection.
Ipsita Nayak.6 years ago
my baby has severe ear infection. She has pus coming out of her ears. this is more pronounced when she is asleep. Pus comes out of the ear and it feels horrifying to see this. will she have a hearing loss?
Shuvar.6 years ago
Babies frequently have ear infections. it is important to treat cold quickly to prevent ear infections.
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