Why does my child get recurrent ear infections?
Kids (especially in the first 2 to 4 years of life) get ear infections more than adults do for several reasons: Their shorter, more horizontal eustachian tubes let bacteria and viruses find their way into the middle ear more easily. The tubes are also narrower, so more likely to get blocked.
What are the risks of recurrent ear infections in children?
The following complications may also develop if there are repeat ear infections:
- Tissue growth behind the eardrum (cholesteatoma). If the tissue grows large enough, it can block the middle ear and affect hearing. Surgery is necessary to remove the growth.
- Damage to the tiny bones in the middle ear.
What can cause frequent ear infections in toddlers?
Children are more likely to suffer from ear infections than adults for two reasons:
- Their immune systems are underdeveloped and less equipped to fight off infections.
- Their eustachian tubes are smaller and more horizontal, which makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear.
What can cause recurring ear infections?
There are multiple causes for recurring (chronic) ear infections, or recurring otitis media, ranging from allergies, sinusitis, ear injuries, and bacterial infections from colds or flu.
How many ear infections are too many?
How many ear infections are too many? One or two ear infections a year is fairly normal (never fun to handle, but normal nonetheless). However, if your child has three episodes in six months or four in a year, then you’ve got a case of chronic ear infections.
How do you treat recurrent ear infections?
Medication. If you have a chronic ear infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. These may be taken orally or (rarely) given intravenously if the infection is severe. Your doctor may suggest ear drops if you have a hole (perforation) in the eardrum.
Do ear infections clear on their own?
Most ear infections cure themselves without the help of antibiotics. “An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that affects the ear. It becomes painful when buildups of fluid and inflammation occur in the air-filled space behind the eardrum,” says Leanna Munoz, Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner.
What can I do for my child’s ear infection?
How can you treat your child’s ear infection at home?
- Give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin).
- Put a warm washcloth on the ear.
- Help your child rest by arranging quiet play.