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Preventing ear infections

By: Spencer
Spencer's picture

If you’ve ever had an ear infection or have a child whose suffered with ear infections, you probably know that it can be pretty painful.

What causes that pain? Ear infections are generally caused by bacteria build-up behind the eardrum. The condition usually occurs when fluid collects behind the eardrum, or it can develop after a virus runs its course but leaves bacteria trapped in the middle ear.

You might notice that ear infections are more common in children. This is because:

·         The tubes connecting the throat to the middle ear is smaller and more direct in children, making it easier for fluid to build up

·         Children have less developed immune systems

Since ear infections are common in young children who cannot speak or have limited speech, lookout for these signs.

·         Pulling or tugging at ears

·         Fluid draining from the ears

·         Issues hearing and responding to quiet sounds

·         Fever

·         Crying even after being soothed

Reduce your child’s risk of getting an ear infection with these tips.

·         Encourage frequent hand-washing

·         Disinfect common household surfaces like doorknobs or cell phones

·         If possible, avoid other sick children if you or your child are sick

·         Get your flu shot

·         Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke

·         Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle

·         Do not use cotton swabs in the ear

Some ear infections will clear up on their own, but if your child continues to have pain, it is important to see a doctor. Untreated ear infections can cause hearing loss.

Need fast medical care for a case of the sniffles? Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care offers walk-in or online appointments in three convenient locations. 

Find more tips from Nurse Rose here: www.AdventistHealthCare.com/NurseRose

Health Minute EAR