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Posted on 02-13-2017

Ear infections are a common problem in children. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, about 50 percent of infants have at least one ear infection by their first birthday. Ear infections can cause pain in the ear, fever, and temporary hearing loss and general signs such as loss of appetite and irritability. An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Anyone can get an ear infection, but children get them more often than adults. Five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. In fact, ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their child to a doctor.

An ear infection usually is caused by bacteria and often begins after a child has a sore throat, cold, or other upper respiratory infection. If the upper respiratory infection is bacterial, these same bacteria may spread to the middle ear; if the upper respiratory infection is caused by a virus, such as a cold, bacteria may be drawn to the microbe-friendly environment and move into the middle ear as a secondary infection. Because of the infection, fluid builds up behind the eardrum.

There are several reasons why children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. First off, the tubes in a child’s ear are smaller and more level in children than they are in adults. This makes it difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. If the tubes are swollen or blocked with mucus due to a cold or other respiratory illness, fluid may not be able to drain. Also, a child’s immune system isn’t as effective as an adult’s because it’s still developing which makes it harder for children to fight infections.

Things you can do to avoid ear infections:

· Wash hands frequently. Washing hands prevents the spread of germs and can help keep your child from catching a cold or the flu.

· Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Studies have shown that babies who are around smokers have more ear infections.

· Never put your baby down for a nap, or for the night, with a bottle.

· Don’t allow sick children to spend time together. As much as possible, limit your child’s exposure to other children when your child or your child’s playmates are sick.

· Get your child chiropractic care. Aligning the spine can help fight against getting those nasty ear infections!

To make your appointment with Dr. Vidan, the St. Louis expert in pregnancy and pediatric chiropractic care, give our Clayton office a call at 314-678-9355!

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