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Otitis Media - Factors That Put You At Risk!

Written and reviewed by
Dr.B. B. Khatri 90% (19ratings)
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  38years experience
Otitis Media - Factors That Put You At Risk!

Otitis media or an ear infection which affects the middle ear, due to a viral or a bacterial attack. It is a painful condition that crops up due to fluid build-up in the middle ear. Since infections of this nature clear on their own, the treatment concentrates on pain management, and locating the underlying problem that caused the infection. Mostly, children under the age of 10 get affected by this condition. Persistent infections can lead to serious complications such as otitis media with effusion, chronic suppurative otitis media and chronic otitis media with effusion.

Causes of Otitis Media
Otitis media is the result of an infection caused due to a bacteria or virus attack. This condition is often triggered by underlying illness such as allergy, cold or flu. It causes swelling and congestion of the nasal passage eustachian tube and throat.

Role of Eustachian tube
The eustachian tubes are a couple of narrow tubes that run from the middle ear to the throat, behind the nasal passage. The throat end of the tube opens and closes, to perform functions such as regulate air pressure, refresh the air in the ear and drain the normal secretion from the ear. Mucus, swelling and inflammation in the eustachian tubes results in accumulation of fluid.

Role of adenoids
Adenoids are small tissues that are located at the back of the nose, and are believed to play a role in the immune system. Since adenoids are located near the opening of the eustachian tubes, any harm to the adenoids can block the tubes, resulting in infection of the tubes.

Risk factors that can cause Otitis Media

  1. Children aged between 6 months to 2 years are more vulnerable to otitis media, because of the smaller size and shape of the eustachian tube.
  2. Babies, who drink from a bottle while lying down, tend to suffer from eustachian tube infection, compared to babies fed from a plate in an upright position.
  3. Ear infections are prevalent during the winter and fall season. People who suffer from seasonal allergies have a greater probability to suffer from otitis media.
  4. People who are exposed to a high level of air pollution and tobacco smoke, have a greater chance to suffer from air infection than their counterparts.
  5. Professional swimmers who spend a long time in pool tend to suffer from ear infection compared to others.
  6. Children who are kept in a group child care setting, tend to suffer from ear infection. This is owing to a high exposure to cold and infection from other children.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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