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Ear infection in babies

Ear infection is a common medical condition in babies. It affects middle ear and the intensity of the infection may vary a lot. Some babies do not have to take medications since the infection withdraws on its own. On the other hand, ear infection can be rather severe and may cause serious complications.

The general problem related to babies is that they cannot tell what bothers them and parents are often confused by changes in baby's behavior. The best thing parents can do is to visit pediatrician who will examine the baby and identify the actual cause of the problem.

Causes of Baby Ear Infection

Babies are in general prone to ear infection due to specific anatomy of an organ called Eustachian tube. This organ connects inner ear with the throat. In babies Eustachian tube is short and more horizontal than in older children and adults which provide easier spread of the infection from the throat to inner ear. Eustachian tube is additionally more prone to blockage in babies than in older children. Improper drainage of the accumulated fluid inside the inner ear causes inflammation and consequent infection. The bacteria can also directly spread from the throat to the inner ear. Babies who are exposed to tobacco smoke are clearly more susceptible to recurrent ear infections.

Symptoms of Baby Ear Infection

It can be challenging for parents to identify the disease. There are different changes in baby's behavior which may only lead the parents to pediatrician. These changes include tugging or pulling of the affected ear, prolonged crying, increased irritability and problems with sleeping as well as increased body temperature.

Babies tend to develop nausea and vomiting in many infections of different organs. The parents can only suspect on an ear infection if they notice clear or yellowish discharge from the ear. And finally, the loss of appetite regularly occurs.

Treatment for Baby Ear Infection

In some cases, there is no need for medications. The infection may withdraw spontaneously. In case that symptoms of the infection do not withdraw within two days patients are prescribed suitable medications. The pain may be alleviated by ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In some cases pediatrician will prescribe ear drops. Antibiotics are given in serious cases of the disease. If inflammation is a consequence of allergies babies are given antihistamines and decongestants. Over-the counter medications are strictly forbidden and the parents ought to take only the doctor's advice.

Ear infection in babies can be sometimes prevented. For example, breastfeeding has proven to be effective in reduction of ear infections in infants. Additionally, parents who are smokers need to keep their babies away from the tobacco smoke. This will be helpful in prevention of possible ear infections.

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