Can ear infections in children be prevented?Ear, Nose & Throat Children’s Health
Are there steps I can take to prevent ear infections from happening to my child?
thanks for the D2D.
Yes, there are. The most important first step is not to dig your child’s ears with anything, including cotton buds, as this may accidentally injure the delicate skin inside or puncture the eardrum, which could lead to a permanent hearing loss. The earwax inside your child’s ears contains natural oils to keep the skin moisturized and healthy.
Young children are at risk of suffering ear, nose and throat infections as their immune system is still not fully developed as an adult’s. Eardrum infections may originate from nose or throat infections so it would be sensible to treat any nasal allergy or infection issues, or tonsillitis that your child may also be suffering from.
Enlarged adenoid tissue can also be a source of ear infections as the inflamed and swollen adenoidal tissue will affect the opening and closure of the Eustachian pressure tubes that connect the eardrums to the back of the nose.
If your child is constantly exposed to cigarette smoke, then that is a risk factor for ear infections too as the smoke contains plenty of irritant chemicals which lead to inflammation and congestion of the lining of the nose and Eustachian pressure tubes.
So please try to make sure your child isn’t exposed to cigarette smoke or in fact, any kind of smoke, including the pollution produced during the previous haze seasons in Singapore.
Water exposure while swimming can also result in swimmer’s ear, an infection of the outer ear skin, so investing in a pair of customized swim earplugs and swim cap for your child can help to prevent this.
Dr Annabelle Leong
MBBS (Hons)(London), BSc (Hons), DOHNS (England), FRCS-ORLHNS (England)
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
38 Irrawaddy Road, #07-46/47
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