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Parents: Know the Many Causes of Ear Infections

ear infections

One of the most common conditions that children have to deal with are ear infections, which seem to pop up frequently for youngsters.

For the most part, ear infections come and go, however, when this medical condition becomes a chronic concern, it can actually lead to developmental issues among other unnecessary complications. Knowing the cause of ear infections helps you aid your child in dealing with this issue.

Eustachian Tubes and You

Anatomically speaking, the part of your body that’s most responsible for ear infections are the eustachian tubes. These canals are narrow passageways that help remove accumulations in the middle ear and circulate fresh air in the area while helping to adjust the pressure in this region.

When these tubes become blocked or have difficulty draining, this can result in ear infections. Often, eustachian tubes become clogged due to your body dealing with an upper respiratory issue, such as a virus or a bacterial infection. As the illness ravages the respiratory tract, the eustachian tubes fill with pus and other viscous materials that prevent proper drainage. This creates the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow in the middle ear, which is how an ear infection develops.

Other causes of tube blockage include second-hand smoke, a general excess of mucus production and swollen adenoid glands, which are tissue close to your tonsils that deal with viral and bacterial infections.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

Children are more at-risk of ear infections due to the fact that their eustachian tubes are narrow and short compared to adults and teenagers. Other factors that increase the risk of ear infection are pacifiers, cigarette smoke, and changes in altitude and climate, all of which put stress on the eustachian tubes.

Younger children tend to reveal that they have an ear infection by tugging at their ears, itching or behaving in a frustrated manner. They may notice a loss in hearing due to the blockage of additional pus and wax created to combat the infection. You may notice an unusual discharge that leaks from the ear.

For the most part, ear infections don’t cause a great deal of complications. However, when the infection is severe or chronic, a loss of hearing may result in developmental difficulties because of your child’s inability to listen to the people around them.

When ear infections become an issue that threatens the growth of your child, seeking specialized help from experts makes a huge difference. The doctors at Houston Sinus & Allergy have multiple decades of experience dealing with chronic ear infections, offering the best treatment for the health of  you and your family.

We Can Provide the Relief You Need

To reduce pain and prevent other long-term effects on the ear, medical care is recommended. With over ten years experience in treating ear infections, Dr. Nguyen can provide the professional and personal attention you need.

If you suspect you may have an ear infection, please contact Houston Sinus & Allergy and schedule an appointment. Contact us or fill out our assessment form.