Ear Infections

Ear infections are a result of bacterium or virus developing in the middle ear.  The most prevalent kind of ear infection is called otitis media, which can be common among kids allergies. This develops in the Eustachian tubes of the middle ear.  These tubes serve to drain normal secretions from the ear into the throat.  When these tubes become swollen and inflamed, they can’t drain properly.  Mucus builds up and infection begins to form in this damp, dark environment.

Ear infections often accompany allergy or illness (such as upper respiratory infection)—both of which cause inflammation and mucus production.  Ear infections are much more common when associated with child allergies than adults because children’s Eustachian tubes are more narrow and can’t drain as easily.

Ear Infection Symptoms:

For adults, ear infections are quite easy to identify.  Signs include pain and, in some cases, secretions from the ear (pus, etc.)  Identifying an ear infection in children can be harder, since young people can’t always relate what they’re feeling.

Signs of ear infection in children may include:

  • Tugging at the ears
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fussiness
  • Impaired hearing and sense of balance
  • Fever
  • Drainage from ear (pus or other fluid)
  • Reduced appetite

Consult a doctor if you or your child are experiencing signs of ear infection.  Your physician can use an otoscope to assess the middle ear and, in some cases, may recommend antibiotics.

While occasional ear infections may be normal (one or two in youth), more than that may indicate allergies.  Allergies often lead to middle ear inflammation which can in turn lead to chronic ear infections.  In children, ear infections can have serious effects including speech problems and hearing loss.  While medications may help treat the symptoms of allergy-related immunotherapy, they don’t treat the source of the problem.  Allergy immunotherapy can help address the underlying allergy issue.

AllergyEasy can help you find a clinic in your area that offers child-friendly allergy immunotherapy (under-the-tongue drops or “sublingual” immunotherapy) for allergy-related ear infections.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.