[middle ear infection ] Otitis Media in Children

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What
is middle ear infection OR  Otitis Media?
Otitis Media, in simple words, middle ear infection
is one of the most common ENT disorders of children. The area confined by the tympanic
membrane (eardrum) and the inner ear is called middle ear. The only connection
of the middle ear to the outer environment (which opens at throat) is via Pharyngotympanic
tube. It is also termed as auditory tube or Eustachian tube. The fluid or
debris produced in the middle ear drain by Eustachian tube in normal
situations 

[middle ear infection ] Otitis Media in Children

Sometimes bacteria or virus, which causes upper
respiratory tract infections, travel through the Eustachian tube to the middle
ear, thus infect the middle ear. In these cases, the Eustachian tube gets blocked,
triggering a vacuum effect inside the middle ear. Since the pressure increases
inside the middle ear due to the infectious debris (pus and mucus), the eardrum
which is sensitive to high pressure is causing pain.
What
causes Otitis Media in children?
Main cause of Otitis Media is upper respiratory
tract infections. Apart from that there are many risk factors for developing
Otitis Media in toddlers and children. Some of them are:
Bottle feeding
when lying supine (The Eustachian tube in children is more horizontal than in
adults. Therefore, there is high risk of occluding the tube while feeding when
lying flat.)
Passive
cigarette smoking (This reduces the immunity of the child.)
Skull/ face
defects
Winter
How
can you identify that your child has Otitis Media?
One main symptom of Otitis Media is ear pain. But
most of the children, especially toddlers, have difficulties in expressing the
pain and the particular area. Their only expression is crying. If a toddler
cries continuously, does not respond to sounds properly and pulls the ear, he/
she might be having middle ear infection.
When you go for a
doctor, he would examine the child’s ear. The infected ear can be identified by
plumpness, redness and cloudiness of the ear membrane.
What
are the treatments available for Otitis Media?
Most of the times, it resolves automatically without
any treatment. In very rare cases, antibiotics should be given.

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