What is an ear infection?
portion of the ear that lies just behind the ear drum is called the middle
ear. Once in a while fluid builds up in the middle ear and at times this
fluid gets infected. However, the fluid is usually drained out into the
throat by the help of tubes known as Eustachian tubes. It is only when
these tubes stop performing their function, if they get blocked for what
Can nose-blowing cause an ear infection?
The answer is yes, it most definitely
can. When you blow your nose, some of the fluid comes out, while some of
it enters the ear through the Eustachian tube. Try instead to take in the
mucous and cough it out from your mouth. If you simply must blow your nose,
don't close one nostril and blow out from the other. Blow out from both
How do I know if my infant has an ear infection?
The symptoms of an ear infection
are: fever, tugging at ears, shaking of the head, discomfort, crying and
a recent bout of cold or cough). Not all children exhibiting symptoms such
as these have ear infections so if you suspect an infection, its best to
have your paediatrician look at your child's ear.
Are antibiotics necessary for treating ear infections?
While we don't realise it at this
stage, ear infections can take a pretty serious if they don't heal by themselves.
The infection may eat away at the bone in the ear, and may even start eroding
the brain tissue, manifesting in meningitis. This is, of course, a delayed
result, and only if the ear infection is consistently ignored. Thus if
you are hesitant about giving your child antibiotics, you could wait for
around three days for the infection to clear on its own. If it doesn't,
you should take your child to the doctor to get his opinion as to whether
he needs to get started on an antibiotic course. Different doctors have
different opinions. Some doctors are all too liberal with antibiotic prescriptions,
while others are slightly more conservative.
Are there any home remedies?
Some of the best home remedies include
steaming, and applying warm olive oil inside the ear (unless your child
is allergic to it). It is best to start home remedies the minute your child
complains of an earache, and if the infection doesn't clear within three
days, take him to the doctor. Unfortunately, the widespread use of antibiotics
to cure ear infections has lead to some bacteria becoming resistant to
the antibiotics. Certain studies suggest that xylitol, an ingredient found
in bubblegum, can help fight ear infections. Studies are still uncertain
about the results, so don't pop a bubblegum in your child's mouth just
yet. However, the next time you see your child chewing gum, perhaps you
don't need to get upset about it either! As long as he brushes his teeth
afterwards, it's fine. You could also apply a hot water bottle to the ear,
or take a hot bath. This would help clear the wax and relieve pain.
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