Tags: ear drum | infection | problems | ear tubes | children | symptoms

Ear Tubes for Children: What Parents Need to Know

Tuesday, 07 January 2014 10:01 PM EST

Ear infection is among common problems affecting children. Symptoms in children vary depending upon the type of infection. Acute ear problems include swelling, pain, fever, and fluid trapped in the ear drum. In many instances, no symptoms may appear even in cases of chronic infection. In other instances, a combination of symptoms may occur in chronic ear problems. Among common symptoms, there may be a buildup of fluid behind the ear drum.

This fluid is drained using ear tubes placed in the ear drum. Ear tubes are like a hollow spool of plastic. Ear tubes are recommended for children frequently suffering from ear infection. Doctors may recommend ear tubes to correct chronic problems in the ear drum. Recurring problems and infections require surgery involving the insertion of ear tubes in the ear drum. Specialists make a surgical opening to insert ear tubes in the ear drum.
The ear can be infected due to bacteria or virus. Bacteria or viruses cause infection by entering in the eustachian tube. An ear infection is most likely when children suffer from a cold or respiratory infection. An infected middle ear is caused if the ear fills with fluid or pus. Buildup of this fluid exerts pressure on the ear drum, making it difficult for the ear drum to vibrate, causing pain and resulting in decreased hearing. 
Ear tubes are especially beneficial in case of recurrent ear problems. Ear tubes prevent the buildup of fluid behind the ear drum. Fluid flows out of the ear tubes while air enters the middle ear. Thus, ear tubes reduce pain and pressure on the ear drum. Decreased hearing caused due to pressure on the ear drum is treated using ear tubes. Moreover, ear tubes prevent further infection in the ear and relieve the ear drum.
The are ways to prevent ear infection in children. Breastfeed your child for at least one year. Antibodies in the mother’s milk help protect children from ear infections. Even bottle feeding while children are lying on the bed is not advised. Milk can enter eustachian tubes and cause ear infection. Regular vaccination for children is beneficial. It effectively protects children against the bacteria responsible for causing ear infection. Hygienic conditions protect children from being exposed to germs. Parents should maintain good hygiene at home and take proper care about washing the floor and bed sheets. Avoid smoking. Smoking around children can cause problems. Exposing children to smoke should be avoided to prevent their ears from being infected.

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Recurrent ear infections can cause serious problems for children. Symptoms vary. Doctors may recommend insertion of ear tubes in the ear drum to treat infection.
ear drum,infection,problems,ear tubes,children,symptoms
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 10:01 PM
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