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.
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.
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:
in the ear
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.
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:
should stay away from people already suffering from cold
and eyes should not be touched frequently
must always be kept clean by frequent and thorough washing with antiseptic
Good hygiene is a great way to stay protected from
those annoying germs like bacteria and viruses that create problems in the ear.