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What Causes Otitis Media and How is it Diagnosed and Treated?

Monday, August 2, 2021

What Causes Otitis Media and How is it Diagnosed and Treated?
Ear infection - archive picture

 

AOtitis media is an inflammation of the middle ear. Otitis media can be caused by a cold , sore throat, or respiratory infection, and according to stanfordchildrens , more than 80 percent of children have had at least one episode of otitis media by the time they reach the age of The third .


Otitis media can also affect adults, although it is a condition that primarily occurs in children. There are some factors that increase the risk of developing otitis media:


Being around someone who smokes.


A family history of ear infections.


Weakened immune system.


Severe and frequent colds.


To breastfeed the child while lying on his back.


Middle ear infections are usually the result of a malfunction in the eustachian tube, a canal that connects the middle ear to the throat region, and the eustachian tube helps equalize pressure between the outer ear and the middle ear, and when this tube does not work properly, it prevents the normal drainage of fluid from the middle ear, This causes fluid to build up behind the eardrum. When this fluid cannot drain, it allows bacteria and viruses to grow in the ear that can lead to acute otitis media.


How is otitis media diagnosed?


In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child's doctor will examine the outer ear and eardrum using an otoscope .


Tympanometry, a test that can be done in most doctors' offices to help determine how the middle ear is working, does not tell the child whether or not he is hearing, but it does help detect any pressure changes in the middle ear. This is a difficult test in young children because the child needs To remain still and not cry, talk or move .


A hearing test can be done for children with frequent ear infections .


If the fluid remains in the ear for longer than three months, your child's doctor may suggest that small tubes be placed in the ear. This surgical procedure, called myringotomy, involves making a small opening in the eardrum to drain fluid and relieve pressure from the middle ear. A small tube is placed In the eardrum opening to ventilate the middle ear and prevent fluid buildup. The baby's hearing is restored after the fluid is drained, and the tubes usually fall out on their own after six to 12 months .

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