Usually a cold, throat infection or allergic attack can cause fluids to become trapped in the middle ear. This mostly affects children and the symptoms may include severe pain in the ear or earache and thick yellow fluid coming out of the ears. This sort of condition is called as an ear infection.
What causes ear infection?
The middle ear is a small space that is positioned just behind the ear drum and it is supposed to be well ventilated by the air that passes through the Eustachian tube. When there is not enough fresh air ventilating the middle ear due to fluid retention there, then the Eustachian tube gets clogged, becomes damp, stagnant and warm, which is a good breeding ground for germs. This leads to ear infection.
Symptoms of ear infection
The symptoms may slightly differ in adults and children. The symptoms in adults include earache, drainage from the ear, and feeling of fullness in the ear, muffled hearing, and nausea.
In children the symptoms will be a tugging feeling in the ear, poor sleep, fever, ear drainage, irritability and restlessness, lack of appetite and crying when lying down.
How to prevent ear infection?
Ear infections tend to occur mostly in cold and damp weather like winter and rainy season. It is more common in children due to various possibilities of them catching it easily.
Here are a few tips to prevent ear infection in babies and children.
- Babies who nurse should be breastfed or bottle-fed in an upright position, since it prevents fluids from entering their ear
- Try to prevent exposing a baby to cigarette smoke and other air pollution
- Give your child immunization shots at the right time indicated
- Babies above 12 months should be weaned away from baby pacifiers, since pacifiers can cause ear infections in children
- Clean the child’s hand and our own hand often with soap and water. This reduces the spread of germs and our child from catching the flu or cold.
- Try as far as possible to keep dirty objects away from a baby’s reach to prevent it from putting in the mouth and causing ear infection.
Ear infections in adults and children are treated with antibiotics. If the doctor suspects that the ear infection is caused due to a virus then an antibiotic may be ineffective and alternate treatment is given but if it is from bacteria then an antibiotic is prescribed as the main medication.