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
- Impaired hearing and sense of balance
- 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.