The middle ear is connected to the back of the nose via a small canal called the eustachian tube. Bacteria can make their way into the middle ear via this canal where they are usually flushed out through the eustachian tube. Both bacteria and virus can infect the middle ear.
A blockage in the canal (usually due to a cold/flu), or when it does not function properly, can lead to germs getting trapped in the middle ear, causing an ear infection.
Children are predisposed to suffer from acute otitis media because of the anatomy and function of their ears and eustachian tube.
Children are prone to ear infections
because their eustachian canal is
smaller and more horizontal. They tend
to get more ear infections between
6 to 24 months. They are also more
prone to upper respiratory tract
infections such as colds and flus.
An ear infection, in itself, is not
contagious but the upper respiratory
viruses that cause the infection can
spread amongst children. Therefore,
children in day care are more prone
to ear infections. Children who use
pacifiers are also at risk.
Other risks factors include immature
immune systems and factors that
can cause the eustachian canal to be
blocked are allergies, acid reflux, or
environmental irritants like tobacco
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your inbox