Children: Often otitis media due to cold

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A cold can quickly lead to otitis media in children

Children in particular are susceptible to otitis media. If the little ones complain of runny nose and severe ear pain, an ear infection could be hidden behind it. However, antibiotic medication is rarely prescribed because the disease usually heals even after a few days without antibiotics.

Does your nose sniff and children complain of ear pain? In such cases, an ear infection is likely to develop. A simple cold illness can trigger otitis media, especially among the youngest. Under certain conditions, the pathogens can migrate from the nose through the connection between the nasopharynx and middle ear (ear trumpet) to the inside of the ears and trigger inflammation. This was explained by doctors from the German Professional Association of Otorhinolaryngologists.

If the germs multiply, this causes inflammation. The earache occurs relatively suddenly, not infrequently in the evening or at night. Children are more likely to develop otitis media than adults because the ear trumpet of the little ones is still short. "This means that the path of viruses or bacteria is not that long anymore."

If a child complains of ear pain, parents should not waste time and go to an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT). In some cases, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. While antibiotics were often prescribed in the past, it is now known that otitis media heals quickly on its own.

To support the healing process, home remedies also help with otitis media. In addition, it is advisable to "drink a lot so that the mucous membranes remain moist". Children can also use decongestant nasal sprays for a very limited period of time. However, these should only be used if the doctor orders them, as the mucous membranes quickly get used to the sprays and there can be some kind of dependency.

With repeated otitis media it may be that the tonsils are enlarged or there is fluid in the inner ear. These circumstances can lead to repeated inflammation of the middle ear. If patients have a weakened immune system (keyword: strengthen the immune system) or suffer from allergies, the reasons for a repeated occurrence can also be justified here. Parents should not smoke in the household as this also leads to repeated illnesses. Another risk factor is excessive pacifier wear. (sb)

Also read:
Get middle ear inflammation treated quickly
Home remedies for earache
Otitis media home remedies
Not antibiotics for otitis media

Image: S. Hofschlaeger /

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