Infant ear infection is most common problem faced by many parents especially during winter, and spring as infants are prone to suffer from colds during this season. Among different type of ear infections, middle ear infection medically called otitis media is often the main cause in children below two years. Middle ear is located just behind the eardrum.
Causes Of Ear Infection In Infants
Let us know what causes infant ear infection.
Firstly infants do not have a well developed immune system; therefore their body is vulnerable to bacterial and viral attacks.
Middle ear infection is caused due to blockage of Eustachian tube; it is a passage that runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. The function of the Eustachian tube is to drain the fluid which normally accumulates in the middle ear. When the tube gets blocked, there is a built up of fluid in the middle ear, the germs such as bacteria and viruses can multiply and result in pain and infection.
Factors responsible for blockage and swelling of Eustachian tube in infant are;
- Bottled fed infant.
- Contracting cold from other children, this happens more often when the infant is kept in day care centers.
- Exposure to dust and smoke, especially passive cigarette smoke.
- Cold climate.
- Change in air pressure.
Ear Infection Symptoms In Infants
- The baby becomes excessive irritable because that is the only way for the baby to communicate with you of his pain and constantly keeps on tugging the ears.
- Fever is another symptom that is common for infant ear infection. The chances of ear infection increases when the baby is suffering from cold and runny nose.
- They tend to remain awake all through the night, because of pain and as the baby is made to lie down they may cry loudly due to pain in the ears.
- A slight jar or a touch on the ears make the baby cry, if there is perforation of eardrum, pus or blood may drain from the ear.
Infant Ear Infection Home Remedy
Normally an infant ear infection resolves within few days, but in some cases, it may prolong and it may be necessary for you to consult your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for ear infection, but often home remedies can relieve the symptoms.
- The pain can be relieved by applying a warm cloth on the outer ear, see that the baby is comfortable with the temperature of the warm cloth.
- The natural olive oil and eucalyptus oil, or garlic oil are also preferred home remedy for infant ear infection. Always consult your doctor before using the oil. If the eardrum is perforated do not use the oil.
- Mullein oil is another great home remedy for infant ear infection. It relieves pain, and acts on the bacterial infection.
- You can also give extract from goldenseal and Echinacea, mix the extract with your expressed breast milk or with yogurt as it becomes easy for the infant to swallow.
- As a preventive measure keep your child away from those who have cold and cough.