Why are children prone to otitis media?

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Otitis media is inflammation of the middle ear and is a common cause of earache in children. Otitis media often occurs in children under 8 years old. It is often a painful complication of an upper respiratory tract infection such as a common cold or throat infection. Otitis media, also known as "ear root", causes swelling and pain in the head and sometimes pus from the ear. Although it is not a serious illness, it brings endless pain to people. If an infant or young child suffers from otitis media, parents will be even more anxious.


Why are children prone to otitis media?
The Eustachian tube of infants and young children is close to horizontal, has a short lumen, a wide inner diameter, and low ciliary motility. Therefore, pharyngeal infection in children is more likely to enter the tympanic cavity through the Eustachian tube, thereby causing otitis media. The Eustachian tube is the passage that connects the tympanum of the middle ear to the nasopharynx and is curved in an arcuate shape. The Eustachian tube is divided into two parts: cartilage and bone. The cartilage part of the Eustachian tube is often closed when at rest. When swallowing, yawning, mouth opening, singing and other actions, and when the pressure in the middle ear tympanic cavity exceeds 0.98~1.47kPa, the muscles related to the pharyngeal opening of the Eustachian tube contract, which can cause the pharyngeal opening to collapse. Open, air enters the tympanic cavity through the Eustachian tube to adjust the balance of pressure inside and outside the tympanic cavity to ensure the sensitive vibration and normal conduction of sound waves by the tympanic membrane.



The main factors causing otitis media in children

* Respiratory and nasopharyngeal diseases
In the middle ear cavity, there is a thin The tube leads to the nasopharynx and is medically called the Eustachian tube. Because children's Eustachian tubes are relatively short, wide, straight, and horizontal, and their body resistance is weak, they are prone to upper respiratory tract infections such as acute rhinitis and tonsillitis, and certain infectious diseases such as measles, scarlet fever, and influenza. It often causes an increase in secretions in the nasopharynx, or when the baby vomits milk, coughs, or twists the nose too hard, bacteria can easily enter the middle ear from the Eustachian tube and become the most common cause of suppurative otitis media. In addition, when children pick their ears, they accidentally damage the external auditory canal mucosa or tympanic membrane, leading to infection, which may also spread to the middle ear and cause inflammation.

* Swimming

When swimming, water will enter the ear from the external auditory canal, but if there is no hole in the eardrum, water will not enter the middle ear from the outer ear. However, if there are many people in the swimming pool and the cleaning and hygiene are not in place, bacteria or disinfectants in the water will enter the child's body through the nose and mouth, causing colds and otitis media.


* Drinking milk while lying down

A research report from the United States stated that if a baby drinks water or milk while lying down, the water or milk will flow toward the nose. If it flows into the pharynx, it may cause otitis media. Therefore, when the baby drinks milk or other drinks, he should raise his head and wipe away the flowing water or milk at any time.


* Fatigue
Lack of sleep or excessive physical exertion are the main causes of decreased immunity. LifeA regular, balanced diet coupled with moderate exercise is very important to stay healthy. Therefore, don’t let your child get too tired from playing, and be sure to let him get adequate rest.

* Smoking
European research reports show that if someone smokes at home, it is easy to induce otitis media. Even if you drive the smoker to smoke on the balcony, his hair and clothes will be stained with harmful substances from cigarettes. When he picks up the baby again, these harmful substances will be adsorbed on the baby's nasopharyngeal mucosa, easily causing inflammation.

* Group living
In kindergarten, children’s chances of being exposed to cold germs or viruses are greatly increased, thereby increasing the possibility of otitis media.

* Going out

On public transportation such as enclosed trains or airplanes, or in public places with poor ventilation and dense crowds, it is easy and very easy to contract cold viruses. It is easy for babies to suffer from otitis media. Therefore, when taking your children out, try to avoid crowded places as much as possible.

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