Chronic Ear Infection In Children
However, some children seem to get ear infections a lot more often than others. The infections might last for longer or reappear very quickly. Sometimes the same infection persists, without responding to the normal treatments.
The most likely cause of persistent ear infection in children is chronic otitis media. Persistent ear problems in children often happen because there is a build-up of fluid in the inner ear. The Eustachian tube isnt draining this fluid properly. This often happens because there is an infection that isnt responding to normal treatments. Fluid can also remain in the middle ear or keep coming back after the infection has gone, which means that the symptoms will persist.
What Can You Do
Breastfeeding beyond four months has been shown to lower your babys risk of ear infections. Using a dummy may also aggravate the problem by allowing bacteria to travel more easily from the nose to the middle ear, so try to limit dummy use until the infection clears up.
If youre bottle feeding, keeping your baby in an upright position for up to 30 minutes after a feed can stop fluid collecting at the back of the throat where bacteria will thrive.
Allergens can also cause fluid to build in the nasal passages and middle ear, so hypoallergenic bedding and washing sheets at a high temperature can help reduce this.
Secondhand Smoke Causes Sids
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the sudden, unexplained, unexpected death of an infant in the first year of life. SIDS is the leading cause of death in otherwise healthy infants.6 Secondhand smoke increases the risk for SIDS.2,4
- Smoking by women during pregnancy increases the risk for SIDS.2,4,7
- Infants who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are also at greater risk for SIDS.2,4
- Chemicals in secondhand smoke appear to affect the brain in ways that interfere with its regulation of infants breathing.2,4
- Infants who die from SIDS have higher concentrations of nicotine in their lungs and higher levels of cotinine than infants who die from other causes.2,4
Parents can help protect their babies from SIDS by taking the following three actions:8
- Do not smoke during pregnancy.
- Do not smoke or allow smoking in your home or around your baby.
- Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep timesnaps and at night.
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Where Can I Find Additional Information About Ear Infections
The NIDCD maintains a directory of organizations that provide information on the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language.
Use the following keywords to help you search for organizations that can answer questions and provide printed or electronic information on ear infections:
Types Of Ear Infections
There are three main types of ear infections that can affect you at any age, each named for the part of the ear they infect: inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear. An outer ear infection affects the part of your ear you see and touch, and its typically caused by some kind of injury, like a cut or abrasion.
An inner ear infection is rare and may indicate a serious health condition, such as meningitis. If your inner ear is inflamed or infected, you may feel nauseated and dizzy.
Middle ear infections are the most common type. This condition, also called otitis media, happens when fluid gets trapped behind your eardrum. As your eardrum swells, you may feel pain, as well as a sense that your ear is filled or plugged, which hinders your hearing. You might also notice some drainage.
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Ii Best Home Remedies For Ear Infections In Adults Babies And Toddlers
There are some natural treatments for ear infections that you can apply with ease at home. In this article, we will show you some of these effective home remedies that are effective in relieving the ear infections symptoms without causing any unwanted side effects. So, if you want to know how to deal with the ear infections symptoms, you should keep both of your eyes on this article.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is the first one among the best home remedies for ear infections in adults that we want to reveal in this article. To get rid of the fungus contributing to the ear infection, you can consider making use of apple cider vinegar. And, you can try this recipe if you want to treat the symptoms of ear infections by using apple cider vinegar.
List of 30 Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Dandruff And Itchy Scalp, Hair Loss will show you some of the simple ways to use apple cider vinegar for scalp problems, so check it out!
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another great one among the best home remedies for ear infections in toddlers, babies, and adults that you should try out! According to a study about tea tree oil for ear infection , the antibacterial properties found in tea tree oil may give you an instant earache relief.
If you want to know some of the best tips that can help you get rid of warts on face and other bodys parts with the help of tea tree oil, read on 24 Ways To Use Tea Tree Oil For Warts On Face, Hand, Scalp, Neck & Finger
How Common Are Ear Infections In Toddlers
Children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years are more susceptible to ear infections than toddlers and older children. Childrens eustachian tubes are shorter, and they have a weaker immune system, which accounts for their susceptibility.
For toddlers, one way they might be more at risk of getting an ear infection is group child care. Children in group settings are more likely to be exposed to colds, which could lead to an ear infection, as both viruses and bacteria cause infections.
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What Causes An Ear Infection
Ear infections are caused by bacteria and viruses. Many times, an ear infection begins after a cold or other respiratory infection. The bacteria or virus travel into the middle ear through the eustachian tube . This tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. The bacteria or virus can also cause the eustachian tube to swell. This swelling can cause the tube to become blocked, which keeps normally produced fluids to build up in the middle ear instead of being able to be drained away.
Adding to the problem is that the eustachian tube is shorter and has less of a slope in children than in adults. This physical difference makes these tubes easier to become clogged and more difficult to drain. The trapped fluid can become infected by a virus or bacteria, causing pain.
Medical terminology and related conditions
Because your healthcare provider may use these terms, its important to have a basic understanding of them:
How Are Ear Infections Treated
To treat an ear infection, health care providers consider many things, including:
- the type and severity of the ear infection
- how often the child has ear infections
- how long this infection has lasted
- the child’s age and any risk factors
- whether the infection affects hearing
The type of otitis affects treatment options. Not all kinds need to be treated with antibiotics. Because most ear infections can clear on their own, many doctors take a “wait-and-see” approach. Kids will get medicine for pain relief without antibiotics for a few days to see if the infection gets better.
Antibiotics aren’t routinely prescribed because they:
- won’t help an infection caused by a virus
- won’t get rid of middle ear fluid
- can cause side effects
- usually don’t relieve pain in the first 24 hours and have only a minimal effect after that
Also, overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are much harder to treat.
If a doctor does prescribe antibiotics, a 10-day course is usually recommended. Kids age 6 and older who don’t have a severe infection might take a shortened course for 5 to 7 days.
Some children, such as those with recurrent infections and those with lasting hearing loss or speech delay, may need ear tube surgery. An ear, nose, and throat doctor will surgically insert tubes that let fluid drain from the middle ear. This helps equalize the pressure in the ear.
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Key Points To Remember About Ear Infections
If you think your child has an ear infection, take them to your family doctor.
- ear infections are very common in young children
- they can cause pain, and often fever
- if you think your child has an ear infection, take them to your family doctor
- antibiotics are often not needed
- pain relief is important
- always take your child to your family doctor for an ear check 4 to 6 weeks after an ear infection, to make sure the ear fluid has gone
- most children outgrow ear infections and will have perfect, undamaged ears and normal hearing
Secondhand Smoke Harms Children
Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems in children.2,4
- Studies show that older children whose parents smoke get sick more often. Their lungs grow less than children who do not breathe secondhand smoke, and they get more bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Wheezing and coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.
- Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in a child. Children with asthma who are around secondhand smoke have more severe and frequent asthma attacks. A severe asthma attack can put a childs life in danger.
- Children whose parents smoke around them get more ear infections. They also have fluid in their ears more often and have more operations to put in ear tubes for drainage.
Parents can help protect their children from secondhand smoke by taking the following actions:9
- Do not allow anyone to smoke anywhere in or near your home.
- Do not allow anyone to smoke in your car, even with the window down.
- Make sure your childrens day care centers and schools are tobacco-free.
- If your state still allows smoking in public areas, look for restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking. No-smoking sections do not protect you and your family from secondhand smoke.
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Health Effects Of Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.1,2,3,4
Since the 1964 Surgeon Generals Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed secondhand smoke.1
There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome .1,4
- Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.4
- Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.1,4
Health Consequences Causally Linked to Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Note:The condition in red is a new disease causally linked to secondhand smoke in the 2014 Surgeon Generals Report4
The Ear Infection Stage Will Pass But There Can Be A Lot To Navigate Before It Does
Ear infections are hard on everyone in the family. The pain can make your kid crabby, and that can in turn put everyone else on edge. If your child has been in an on-again, off-again relationship with ear infections, your doctor may have suggested ear tube insertion. But can your kid still get an ear infection with tubes? And if so, what might the treatment options look like?
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Ear Infection Symptoms In Babies And Toddlers
From fever to drainage, learn the signs of an ear infection in toddlers and infants so you can nip this common childhood ailment in the bud.
Recently, I noticed my 8-month-old son tugging on his right ear. That, combined with his unusual crankiness, got my attention. Was he teething? Just discovering his ear? Or could he be signaling that he was suffering from an ear infection? He was just getting over a cold, so I decided to call the pediatrician’s office. The nurse suggested bringing him in for a quick peek at his ears.
The verdict: no ear infection! While I was relieved, the incident did get me thinking. Did I have to drag him in every time he pulled at his ear? That seemed a little extreme. But what if I was too laid back and missed a real ear infection? I decided it was time to learn a little bit more about this common childhood ailment.
“Next to the common cold, ear infections are the most common disorder in children,” says Margaretha Casselbrant, MD, PhD, chief of the division of pediatric otolaryngology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. But ear infections are not always easy for a parent to diagnose because the symptoms can be vague and mimic those of a regular cold or flu. In fact, ear infections often start as a cold with a cough and a runny nose.
While it’s certainly tricky, there are still signs that are specific to ear infections. Here’s how to tell if it’s an ear infection, mom.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How can I keep my child comfortable at night with the pain of an ear infection?
- Is there drainage with an ear infection?
- What is the difference between an ear infection and swimmers ear?
- Is my child a candidate for ear tubes?
- What are the risks and benefits of surgically inserting tubes inside my childs middle ear?
- Should my child get regular hearing tests if they have frequent ear infections?
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Avoiding Risks For Infection
Variation: Babies who breastfeed are less likely to get ear infections because of the way they position their head while they nurse. Additionally, breast milk contains antibodies that fight infection. However, its not always possible to breastfeed, so do what works best for you and your baby.
Tip: Cigarette smoke irritates the eustachian tube inside your ear, which is why it increases the risk of ear infections.XResearch source
What Are The Important Precautions During Ear Infection In Babies
- Raise the head of the baby if they are being given water with a feeder. This prevents the water from going into the Eustachian tubes. Avoid feeding the Baby if its lying down.
- A warm compression against the ear will bring some relief to the Baby.
- Do not allow pets into the Babies room during the Ear Infection.
- Avoid giving stuffed toys to Babies during the infection period.
- Parents and visitors should strictly avoid smoking around the Baby.
- Maintain proper room temperature and ventilation.
- Reduce use of Pacifiers during the infection period.
- Parents and caretakers should wash their hands before handling the Babies.
- Confirm whether all vaccinations were as per the time schedule.
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How Do Ear Infections Develop
Bacteria and viruses can spread to the middle ear and cause infection more easily when you have nasal congestion and swelling in your eustachian tubes, such as with a cold. These narrow tubes run from your middle ear to the back of your throat. Theyre responsible for regulating air and draining fluid in your ear.
Swelling and inflammation in your eustachian tubes can cause blockages and allow fluid to accumulate in your middle ear. This can lead to pressure, ear pain, and headaches common symptoms of an ear infection. Other conditions likely to block your eustachian tubes include:
Risk Factors For Baby Ear Infections
The majority of children will get at least one or two ear infections in their first few years of life . But some babies may be more at risk for ear infections than others. Here are some risk factors that may increase your babys susceptibility:
- If you have a family history of ear infections, your baby may be more likely to get them.
- Your baby is more likely to get an ear infection with the more colds and other viruses they pick up.
- Babies who have allergies are more likely to have ear infections because of the swelling and inflammation that allergies can cause.
- Babies with chronic illnesses are more likely to experience ear infections, especially if they have respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma.
- Being exposed to secondhand smoke can increase your babys risk for ear infections.
- Babies who are bottle-fed are more likely to experience ear infections than breastfed babies however, you can minimize the risk by bottle feeding your baby in an upright position, so that milk doesnt pool in their ear passages.
- Making sure your baby doesnt fall asleep while drinking a bottle can also decrease their likelihood of getting an ear infection.
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