Ear infections, known medically as otitis media or OM, are the most common cause of childhood medical visits. Over 80% of children will have at least one ear infection by the time they turn three.
An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear caused by bacteria or a virus that results in pus (infected fluid) building up behind the eardrum. This can be very painful, and children too young to complain verbally might tug at their ear, cry or be more fussy than usual, and/or have their sleep disrupted due to this condition. Pressure from the build-up of fluid can rupture the eardrum, which can cause fluid to drain from the ear, dizziness, nausea, and ringing or buzzing in the ears along with temporary mild hearing loss.
Sudden onset ear infections are the most common infection for which pediatricians prescribe antibiotics, however most children get better without antibiotic treatment. Studies show waiting to start antibiotics does not increase the likelihood of developing serious illness, so the doctor might prescribe over the counter medication for pain relief for the first two to three days to see if symptoms improve. Ear infections themselves are not contagious, but they often begin during or shortly after the child has had a virus like a cold or other upper respiratory illness, which can be transmitted to others.
The eustachian tubes (narrow tubes that lead to the middle ear and allow equal pressure to exist on each side of the eardrum) in children’s ears are shorter, narrower, and more horizontal than in adults, and their adenoids (lymphatic system structures in the back of the throat) are larger and can interfere with the opening of their tubes. It is because of this that children are so prone to ear infections, especially from ages 2 to 4. Other risk factors include being male, bottle-feeding, secondhand smoke, and being in a group setting like daycare.
Some children have recurring infections. In this case a doctor may recommend placing small ventilation tubes in the eardrum to improve air flow and prevent fluid from backing up into the middle ear. The tubes are placed in surgery and generally stay in for 6 to 9 months. If placing tubes does not improve the rate of infection, the adenoids may also be surgically removed to help prevent infection from spreading to the eustachian tubes.
Bio-Touch is a powerful complement to traditional methods of treatment and can give parents an extra tool to help their child while they are dealing with this painful condition.
The information presented here is for educational purposes only. Medical advice is neither offered nor implied. Please consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.