Don't Ignore Ear Infections | People Magazine

Don’t Ignore Ear Infections

Don't Ignore Ear Infections

Ear infections can be painful, but that’s not the worst part — if left untreated, they can be dangerous too. An ear infection, or otitis media, according to webmd.com, is the most common cause of earaches. While it’s mostly associated with children, it also affects adults. The main characteristics identified for those most likely to suffer from recurrent middle ear infections include:

  • Males
  • Those with a family history of ear infections
  • Babies who are bottle-fed (breastfed babies get fewer ear infections)
  • Children in daycare centres
  • People living in households with tobacco smokers
  • People with abnormalities of the palate, such as a cleft palate
  • People with poor immune systems or chronic respiratory diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and asthma

The Dangers

We get ear infections when fluid builds up inside the ear. This allows bacteria and viruses to grow, resulting in earache or fever. But while the National Institutes of Health says most ear infections resolve without causing additional problems, some ear infections cause dangers beyond their immediate symptoms. Some of these include:

  1. Hearing loss
  2. A ruptured ear drum
  3. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils

Symptoms Include:

  1. Ear pain — mild to severe
  2. Fever
  3. Thick and yellow or bloody drainage
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Vomiting
  6. Grumpy behaviour
  7. Trouble sleeping
  8. Balance problems or dizziness

TIP

According to webmd.com, children who have problems hearing may seem dreamy or inattentive, or they may appear grumpy or cranky.

Courtesy of www.webmd.com and www.livestrong.com

Angela

Angela

Deputy editor

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