One of the most common diseases in infancy is otitis media. There are many more causes of otitis media in babies than you realize, which is a common disease.
In this article, we will answer many questions such as what are the symptoms of otitis media in babies, what causes ear infections in babies, and how it is treated. Read it now, you don’t know what you don’t know!
What causes ear infections in babies?
First, let’s briefly describe the position of the middle ear. You know, the human ear consists of 3 parts: outer, middle and inner. The part that interests us here is the middle ear; hammer, anvil, and stirrup bones. This air-filled part opens to the throat with a channel called the Eustachian tube. During swallowing, air enters the middle ear from the throat.
Middle ear infections in babies mostly develop due to diseases such as colds and respiratory tract infections. The reason for this is that the Eustachian tube connecting the nostrils of the babies to the middle ear is very short, making it easier for the viruses present in the nose and throat to progress towards the ear. In this case, fluid accumulates in this area and collects behind the eardrum. This causes inflammation.
Apart from this, the causes of otitis media in babies include;
- Having adenoid ,
- Born prematurely or with low weight,
- Being in crowded and closed areas such as kindergartens,
- Bed feeding (bottle or breastfeeding does not matter.),
- exposure to cigarette smoke,
- Having allergic problems
- Pacifier use ,
- It is fed with cow’s milk.
What are the symptoms of otitis media in babies?
Symptoms of ear infection in babies include;
- ear pain ,
- High fever,
- ear discharge,
- Loss of appetite,
- There are situations such as balance problems.
Young babies who cannot express themselves yet have otitis media;
- From the fact that he brought his hand to his ear and tugged,
- Crying while feeding
- from ear discharge,
- You can tell by the desire to rub your ear on a pillow or a quilt.
In addition, a high fever of up to 40 degrees is among the symptoms of middle ear infection. In other words, “ Does ear infections in babies cause fever? “We can say yes to the answer to the question.
Is otitis media in babies contagious?
It is not inflammation that is contagious, it is not passed from person to person. But the viruses that cause inflammation are contagious.
How is otitis media treated in babies?
As we mentioned above, ear infections are very common in babies. As soon as you see the symptoms, you need to show your baby to an ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialist.
Your doctor will first look at your baby’s ears, nose, and throat with a device called an otoscope. While doing this, the aim is to detect the bacteria that cause inflammation and to understand whether the eardrum is perforated or not, and what the inflammation is.
“How many days does it take to get rid of middle ear infections in babies?” Let’s answer the question. In fact, under normal conditions, ear infections in babies begin to regress within a few days. Even if the drug is not used, the infection decreases within 1-2 weeks. At this point, the drugs to be used in the treatment also change.
When it comes to this disease, the first thing that comes to mind is “Do babies get otitis media with antibiotics? ‘ comes the question. Unfortunately, antibiotics are often used for ear infections. However, if the baby’s problem is not caused by bacteria, using antibiotics is of no use, on the contrary, there is even harm. For this reason, the doctor needs to determine the cause of the infection correctly. Let’s also say that ear infections in babies are caused by bacteria at a rate of 25% at most.
If the causative viruses that cause otitis media in your baby occur for simpler reasons such as the common cold, treatment is performed for the symptoms that occur. In this case, as ear inflammation drugs in babies;
- fever reducers,
- cough syrups,
- cold medicine,
- Ear drops can be used. As we said, if the cause of the problem is not bacteria, the symptoms will gradually decrease with these drugs that your doctor will recommend.
However, if the fluid accumulation in the ear is high and the infection does not improve despite the medications, tube insertion surgery can be performed to relieve the inflammation. In this operation, a tube is placed in the ear, thus preventing the accumulation of fluid. This type stays in the ear for 6 months and then falls off on its own.
If there is no improvement with such a treatment method and the eardrum is damaged, surgical operations can be applied. These may be operations such as endoscopic surgery and eardrum repair.
What is good for ear infections in babies?
- After starting the treatment, you can use supportive supplements with the recommendation of your doctor.
- Provided that it is not too hot, you can help relieve your baby’s pain by compressing the ear with a hot water bag.
- Experienced mothers say that it is good to drip 2 drops of breast milk into the ear after cleaning the ear. However, we can say that this is not a scientific method.
- The juice of grated onion is also said to be good for earache in babies .
- Another method that is good for babies’ ear pain is to apply vix behind the ear.
Is there any herbal treatment for otitis media in babies?
There is no proven scientific herbal cure for middle ear infection. There are suggestions such as linden and sage tea that you can alleviate the problems such as colds and flu, which are most common with inflammation. However, before giving these to your baby, you should consult your doctor and pay attention to your baby’s age.
How to prevent otitis media in babies?
- Care should be taken to strengthen the immune system so that ear infections do not occur due to upper respiratory tract infections.
- You should prevent the baby from being exposed to cigarette smoke, bad weather conditions.
- You should breastfeed your baby as much as possible. Bottles increase ear infections. If you have to bottle feed, make sure your baby’s head is at stomach level.
- However, breastfeeding position is also very important. In particular, the lying position increases this risk.
- Allergic rhinitis increases middle ear infection. Therefore, if there is an allergic condition, it should be treated.