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A 28-year-old female asked:

What causes ear infections in babies?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Benjamin Green
Family Medicine 17 years experience
Usually a virus: Ear infections are really common in kids and usually what happens is your little one gets a common cold virus which causes mucous and nasal congestion. This leads to mucous and inflammation in their tiny inner ear canals. This can cause pain, irritability and fevers. Sometimes bacteria grow in this area too and can also cause ear infections. Breastfeeding can sometimes prevent them!
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Inflamation mid/ear: Otitis media is a broad term that includes various forms of inflamation of the middle ear. That space is like a cave in the skull, with the ear drum on one wall, a drain tube (eustacion tube) in the floor & another wall composed by the skull & the ear nerve. The walls make mucous which normally drains but can be trapped. Viruses often start the process but bacteria can invade & need treatment.

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Washington, DC
A 19-year-old female asked:

What do doctors do and prescribe for babies with ear infections????

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Verify/age adjust: The primary issue is to verify a treatable problem is there. Some are viral & would self heal. Some are just fluid that is benign. Some have a puss collection that needs help with antibiotics, If needed, these are selected and dosed based on the kids age & allergy profile.
A 20-year-old member asked:

Do babies get fevers with ear infections?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Luis Villaplana
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Yes: But not always. Fevers for longer than 48-72 hrs need seen by doctor.
Virginia, MN
A 21-year-old female asked:

Are breastfed babies less prone to ear infections? Why or why not?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Lipton
Holistic Medicine 30 years experience
Suckling: Breast feeding does reduce ear infections due to the force needed to nurse from a breast. This suckling helps drain eustachian tubes and is not accomplished by bottle fed babies.
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 32-year-old member asked:

Why do ear infections mostly affect babies and children?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Maturity: Ear infections are thought to result from a poorly functioning eustachain tube which connects the middle ear to the nose. As one ages the tube matures.It gets larger making it less likely to obstruct. It is this blockage that causes ear infections.In addition, it is probable that the immune systems matures, fighting the infections off more efficiently.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
It is also the angle with which the eustacian tube comes off the back of the throat. As you mature to adulthood the angle becomes less acute and therefore less prone to obstruction.
Mar 19, 2012

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Last updated Jan 5, 2019

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