Ear infections in children

Many children each year are diagnosed with middle ear infections, or otitis media which often develops during a cold. Typical symptoms include:

  • earaches
  • fever
  • headache
  • runny nose
  • irritability

For many kids, these infections become recurrent. Bacteria and viruses need a specific media in which they can grow, reproduce, and cause the symptoms associated with ear infections. This media is provided by the environment of the ear. Structurally, children are more susceptible to mucus, (membrane a soft pink skin, like structure that lines many cavities and tubes in the body include most of the respiratory system) and fluid buildup in the middle of the ear because the eustachian tube is called effusion, (a canal between the middle ear, and the back of the throat) is shorter, and more horizontal than in adults. Mucus and fluid buildup in the ear can occur as a result of several factors.

It could be that an ear infection occurred after a build up or flu symptoms. The child could also be suffering from sinusitis is an inflammation or infection of the mucous membranes lining the sinuses, and nasal passages, that has made its way over to the ear. In some children, food allergies may be contributing to excessive mucus production.

Ear Infection

  1. Ear canal
  2. Middle ear
  3. Inner ear (controls balance)
  4. Earlobe
  5. Eardum
  6. Eustachian tube (leads to throat)

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