Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Janine Acero
Otitis media (middle ear infection) is a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear. It causes inflammation and fluid buildup within the internal spaces of the ear.
Acute otitis media occurs when there’s infection of the fluid in the middle ear, which causes production of pus, while chronic otitis media occurs when the eustachian tube becomes blocked repeatedly due to allergies, multiple infections, ear trauma or swelling of adenoids. Chronic ear infections may lead to permanent ear damage.
Ear infections can be painful because of the inflammation and fluid buildup which increase pressure on the eardrum. However, most ear infections improve without treatment.
Otitis media is the most common reason why children visit a physician. Around 75 percent of young children will have at least one ear infection before they reach three years of age. It is more common in young boys than young girls.
Places where a large number of children are together, like daycare centers, help spread the infection more easily. Respiratory infections, allergies and second-hand cigarette smoke increase the risk for ear infections.
Ear infections are also known as glue ear, secretory otitis media, or serous otitis media.
The likelihood of developing ear infections increases with the following risk factors:
The signs and symptoms of ear infections include:
Babies and toddlers start with pulling or scratching at the ear, along with hearing problems, fever, discharge from the ear, irritability, and vomiting.
In older children and adults, symptoms include earache, hearing problems, pressure in the ear, fever, discharge from the ear, dizziness and loss of balance, and nausea or vomiting. Children usually recover from mild infections in three to five hours, although your child may feel tired afterwards.
Lower your child’s risk of getting ear infections with the tips below:
Complications resulting from ear infections can occur, albeit rare. Here are some complications associated with middle ear infections:
One of the risk factors for developing middle ear infections is bottle-feeding. However, breastfeeding isn’t always easy, and you can’t force your baby to breastfeed. Pump some breast milk for your baby as an alternative; breast milk contains all the nutrients that your baby needs to jump-start their immune system into fighting off infections.
You can also give older children foods rich in probiotics (live good bacteria) to help strengthen the immune system.
There are some integrative therapies available for treating middle ear infections, including:
The following are some of the common natural remedies for treating ear infections:
Middle ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection which causes inflammation and fluid buildup within the internal spaces of the ear.
Around 75 percent of young children will have at least one ear infection before they reach three years of age. It is more common in young boys than young girls.
Respiratory infections, bottle-feeding, allergies and second-hand cigarette smoke increase the risk for ear infections.
Tagged Under: Tags: Middle ear infection