While ear infections affect adults, they are much more common in the first years of life.
According to the MedlinePlus webpage, ear conditions such as otitis media (tympanitis) are one of the most common reasons for doctor’s visits among children. In their first years of life, an estimated three of every four children get this type of infection.
Otitis media occurs when the tubes inside the ear become clogged with fluid and mucus. This puts pressure on the eardrum, causing severe pain. Sometimes the infection can go away on its own without the aid of medical treatment. Other times, however, a physician should treat the pain it causes as well as the onset of its other symptoms such as secretions, hearing problems, fever or balancing problems.
According to the KidsHealth webpage, the other symptoms that can cause severe discomfort in children include the feeling of having plugged ears and difficulty hearing. When infections are recurrent or acute, specialists may consider prescribing antibiotics, and in rare cases, surgery may be needed.
Some recommendations to prevent ear infections include washing your hands properly at home, staying current with children’s vaccinations and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke.
Related article: Otitis: Causes and proper treatment