Ear Infections and their Preventive and Curative Measures
Ear infections are often a nuisance and can happen to anyone at any point of time. This infection is most prevalent in younger children, with around 5 out of every 6 child being afflicted by some sort of ear infection by the time they are three years of age. This finding was reported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
The causes for ear infections vary from person to person. Usually, these types of infections result from blocked Eustachian tubes that connect your ears to the very back side of your throat. This blockage obstructs fluid drainage from the ears, which gives rise to bacteria, thereby resulting in ear infections that can cause inflammation or pain in the ears. They are often caused by allergies or colds.
The most common symptoms that indicate you have an ear infection are ear pain, sleep disturbance, problems with hearing, fever, reduced appetite, and odd-colored discharge emitted from your infected ear. These symptoms are most common in children and can cause them to cry and act fussy or cranky.
Thankfully, ear infections are quite easily treatable. Even though the most prevalent treatment method is the use of antibiotics, recent years have found that 80% of ear infections in children tend to heal without needing to administer antibiotics. Ear drops are often prescribed, as are pain relief medications such as ibuprofen. You can even use natural home remedies such as using a warm compress (a washcloth or clean hand towel dipped in hot water and squeezed to remove the excess water) which you can place on your infected ear. This encourages natural fluid drainage from the ear as well as provides pain relief without the need for medication.
As they say, prevention is always better than the cure. This is why there are various vaccines available for children to help prevent serious illnesses such as meningitis or pneumonia. These vaccines have been found to lower the chances of getting ear infections in children. You can also make sure ear infections remain at bay by practicing appropriate hygiene measures in and around the household.
Always wash your hands before you handle a baby and encourage them to wash their own hands when they grow older. Clean and sterilize all the equipment and utensils that come in contact with infants, including breast pumps. Never feed your child when they are lying flat on their back and do not expose children to cigarette smoke.