Children Ear Infection – Middle Ear (Otitis Media)

Middle ear infection (medically termed otitis media) generally refers to an infection of the middle part of the ear,  that lies behind the eardrum.

Ear infections are common in babies and young children, especially those aged six to 18 months. Most children will have an ear infection before the age of five.

Most cases are not serious but they can be very painful and distressing.

Middle Ear Infection with Pus

 

What causes a Children’s Middle Ear infection?

Children ear infections are caused by viruses or bacteria that infect the middle ear.

In children, the Eustachian tube, which runs from the ear to the back of the throat, is short, and more horizontal than in adults. It becomes blocked more easily, such as during a common cold.

When the tube becomes blocked, fluid does not drain away from the middle ear as it normally does. The virus or bacteria can migrate up the Eustachian tube causing a middle ear infection. The germs are found in the nose and throat.

Other causes are:

• an upper respiratory tract infection

• sudden changes in air pressure (i.e. airline travel)

• smaller than average Eustachian tubes

 

What are the symptoms Children’s Ear Infection?

The first signs of infection are often similar to those of a cold, with a stuffy, blocked or runny nose and mild fever. Your child is generally irritable may not want to eat or sleep. Sometimes there is a discharge (pus or blood) coming from the ear.

An older child may complain of an earache, headache or deafness. A younger child may simply pull at their ear or be upset. Babies (up to 12 months) can become extremely irritable, shove fingers in their ears and lose their appetite.

Sometimes the symptoms are very mild and the ear infection is only picked up when a doctor looks at your child’s ears.

If you suspect that you may have Ear Problems, make an appointment with our clinic today for an assessment.