Otitis in babies

Otitis in babies

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Otitis in babies can be dangerous, because it has serious implications, and left untreated can lead to ear scarring, hearing loss, meningitis, mastoiditis, facial nerve paralysis or speech impairment.

What does otitis mean?
The space behind the eardrum, the middle ear, closes the auditory system and is hollow inside, and the natural secretions formed here are eliminated by an internal path called the Eustachio tube.
In children, this does not always work very well, probably due to the fact that it is not fully matured and therefore does not have the necessary resistance, and the secretions are not completely eliminated.
When there is a problem with Eustachio's tube there is a risk of fluid accumulation behind the eardrum.

Existing bacteria in the nasal pathways sometimes multiply easily in this fluid causing infection. Often, after a gout, the nose gets clogged and that's why average otitis occurs during or after it.
Some children may have only fever and irritability and may rarely have any symptoms despite the infection. Otitis can be diagnosed by examining the ear with the otoscope. With this help the doctor can see directly the eardrum, which is red and sometimes bulging due to the pressure of the infected fluid. Serious complications are rare but still exist.

Administration of treatment for otitis
Otitis media can lead to infection of the lining of the brain (meningitis), infection of the bones surrounding the ear, or bacterial blood contamination. Due to the risk of these complications, the administration of antibiotics orally is fully justified.
Antibiotics are usually prescribed over a period of three, five or seven days, depending on their type.
Treatment should be followed by the doctor's advice even if the symptoms improve or disappear before the end. Generally, symptoms are alleviated within the first 48 hours after the start of antibiotics. During these first 48 hours the symptoms will probably persist but this does not mean that antibiotics do not work.
To relieve pain or fever, paracetamol can be given depending on the weight or age of the child. In the meantime, the child may be re-examined to see if the antibiotic needs to be changed.

Are antibiotics needed?
The use of antibiotics has been questioned by those who claim that some infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and because of this, some people are afraid of overusing them.
Identification is important because untreated otitis media can lead to more serious infectious complications. If the infection is serious, especially in young children, the doctor prescribes an antibiotic. This choice depends entirely on the situation.
If the infection continues to appear despite antibiotic treatment, there are two possibilities:
• administration of antibiotics at low dose every day for several months (prophylactic treatment)
• tympanostomy, a small surgery performed by an ENT doctor, which involves the insertion through the eardrum of a small plastic tube to drain the middle ear from the outside. This tube is used until the ear's natural drainage system, Eustache's tube, matures.
The vast majority of children overcome this problem and do not develop with age any permanent sequelae in the field of hearing acuity and do not suffer from any other long-term complications from otitis media.

The opinions of the specialists
It is advisable to seek medical advice regarding the following preventive methods:
• Protects the child from colds, especially in the first year of life. Most ear infections start as mere colds.
• Most children are given the pneumococcal vaccine, which prevents infections with Streptococcus pneumoniae, the main cause of ear infections. Consult your doctor if you do not know if the baby has received this vaccine, which is usually given up to 2 years of age.
• Avoid cigarette smoke, as it causes the frequency and severity of otic infections to increase.
• Control allergies. Inflammation caused by allergies is a contributing factor to ear infections.
• Breast feeding is recommended for children up to one year old. Antibodies in breast milk reduce the rate of occurrence of otitis.
• If the baby is fed with the bottle, it is recommended to maintain the baby's position at about 45 degrees from the horizontal, to prevent damage to the middle ear due to the regurgitation of milk in the pharynx and middle ear.
• Maintaining a horizontal position may cause milk to leak into Eustachio's tube, which is a portion of the middle ear. Weaning the baby at 9-12 months can stop this problem.
• Pay attention to the mouth or snoring, which can be caused by nasal polyps (adenoid vegetation). These can promote ear infections. Sometimes an examination by the ENT doctor (otolaryngologist) may be necessary and in some cases surgery to remove the polyps (adenoidectomy) is recommended.
Source of
The anatomical peculiarities of the otolaryngeal structures of the children can cause that an infection that affects one of the structures can easily spread to the other ones.
On the other hand, in the child there is a rich lymphoid tissue that easily swells; In the ENT sphere, the lymphoid tissue is represented by the two palatine tonsils and Luschka's pharyngeal tonsil, which is a mass of lymphatic tissue that normally covers the posterior wall of the upper pharyngeal region (behind the nose). This formation regresses after puberty.
Thus, inflammation of the nasal mucosa and of the pharynx (rhinopharyngitis) during a virus or bacterial infection, is frequently accompanied by inflammation of the lymphoid structures of the neck: the palatal tonsils and the pharyngeal tonsil of Luschka from where through the Eustachio's tube (which is a canal). which communicates between the pharynx and the inner ear) can also spread to the ear.
This pharyngeal tonsil, the site of frequent inflammation, can hypertrophy (increase in size) as a result of chronic or relapsing infection and then we say that there is adenoid vegetation (improperly said to have polyps).
Hypertrophy of the tonsil usually impairs breathing and drainage of nasal secretions, leading to known symptoms: nasal obstruction (clogged nose), rhinorrhea (nasal secretions), predominantly oral respiration, night snoring, nasal voice, etc.
Fever is a sign of inflammation and infection, but its appearance depends on the child's immune system; a child with a weaker immune system (for example, dystrophic children or very young) may be weak even in the presence of serious infections.
In this situation, it may be a confusion about the misuse of the word "polyps": all children have Luschka's tonsil, but not all are so hypertrophied to cause clinical manifestations.
What Moms Say About Baby Otitis
A girl with bilateral otitis media received treatment with aerosols (Prospan droplets), Nazomer and Dexamethasone, and oral Nurofen, Azithromycin and Aerius.
The doctor prescribed in the case of a baby diagnosed with otitis, treatment with Rinonef, Rinocort, Ceclor (antibiotic) and Zyrtec.
In most cases, moms are experiencing persistent otitis and severe symptom relief and recommend consulting several doctors.

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