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A member asked:

What are the causes of ear infections?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 35 years experience
Ears are connected..: ...To the nose on the inside, with a tunnel called the eustacian tube. Anything that happens in the nose, can affect the ear.
Dr. Brian Affleck
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 30 years experience
The most common cause of ear infection is that the Eustachian tube isn't working. This results in a negative pressure, like a small vacuum. The negative pressure can be strong enough to pull fluid from the delicate tissues lining the middle ear. Once there is fluid, bacteria from the nose can then infect it. There are several reasons for the Eustachian tube to not work, including colds/allergy
Aug 16, 2013
Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 51 years experience
Virus or bacteria: Since ear infections are "infections" there must be an infecting agent. Typically the child begins with a viral URI (cold) which may or may not involve the middle ear. After a few days, bacteria that normally inhabit the nose or throat may begin to multiply in the middle ear, causing the infection that is often treated with antibiotics.
Dr. Laura Webb
Pediatrics 13 years experience
Bacteria or viruses: Ear infections are like other illnesses we get; they are caused by bacteria or viruses that get into our system and cause use to get sick. If your doctor believes it is a bacteria causing the ear infection antibiotics may be prescribed to help, although if it is caused by a virus antibiotics will not help, only time.
Dr. David Martin
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 28 years experience
Ear infections: Most ear infections, or otitis media, occur in children. Their eustachian tubes have not fully matured yet, and as a result, they are predisposed to ear infections. They are also exposed to more infections than older individuals.

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Similar questions

A 33-year-old member asked:

Do ear infections cause a smell in ears?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Yes, swimmer's ear: External ear infection, commonly called swimmer's ear, can produce an odor. Also, if the inner ear infection causes a rupture of the drum and drainage comes to the external canal etc...This can cause odor as well. At times, foreign body such as qtip left in there for awhile can do that as well. If you have concerns, please consult doc... Good luck.
A 43-year-old member asked:

What are the causes of an ear infection?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Depends on location: Viruses can invade the ear nerve, impaining hearing; viruses or bacteria can inhabit the normally sterile middle ear space& mucous= otitis media;germs can invade the ear drum= myringitis/ lots of pain; skin bacteria & fungus can invade an over-hydrated outer canal & cause swimmers ear. Each affliction may be considered an ear infection & each is handled differently.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Do colds cause ear infections?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 27 years experience
They can: Colds or (upper respiratory infections - uris) are the leading predisposing cause of ear infections.
A 37-year-old member asked:

What germs cause ear infections?

1 doctor answer11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gregory Mosolf
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Bacteria: The 3 most common bacteria to cause middle ear infections (otitis media) are streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenzae and moraxella catarrhalis. Otitis media can also be a viral infection. Swimmer's ear or otitis externa is mostly from pseudomonas aeruginosa. Other swimmer's ear germs include staph aureus, enterobacter aerogenes, proteus mirabilis, klebsiella pneumoniae and fungi.
A 30-year-old member asked:

What could cause frequent ear infections?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Mcgranahan
Pediatrics 24 years experience
Many causes!: Ear infections can be caused by viral colds or spread from infections in the eyes or sinuses. Also associated with second-hand smoke exposure. Some children are much more prone to frequent infections than others. This can be a result of inherited ear anatomy or differences in immune function. Most often, children grow out of the frequent ear infections with time. Talk with your doctor.

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Last updated Nov 19, 2019

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