If you have a child who suffers from ear infections, then you should know that this is a common issue affecting many younger kids. If you are concerned about the problem, the good news is that your son or daughter is likely to grow out of the issue. If you want to know why the infections affect children and also how aging helps to resolve the issue, then keep reading.
The Eustachian Tubes Are Not Angled
The ears are connected to small open vessels called eustachian tubes. These tubes run from the middle ear to the back of the throat. The positioning of the tubes allows for air flow through the tube that retains equalized pressure. Also, it lets fluid to flow through the tube and drain, much in the same way that your sinuses do. To make sure that equalization and fluid drainage is possible, the eustachian tubes are angled vertically from the ears to the throat.
Unfortunately, children have eustachian tubes that sit more vertically inside the ears. This allows bacteria to become trapped in the ears with the fluids instead of draining down the throat. The bacteria can sometimes start to multiply and this causes an infection to develop. This also happens due to the narrow structure of the tubes.
As children continue growing, the eustachian tubes begin to widen and angle down more vertically. When this happens, ear infections are less likely to develop.
In the meantime, use warm compresses around the ears to reduce swelling and to open the tubes a bit wider when an infection does start.
The Adenoids Are Large
Adenoids are glands that sit in the back of the throat. These lymphatic glands are part of the immune system and they release white blood cells into the body when an infection is detected. The glands are quite large in your child's body and they sit in such a way that they block off the eustachian tubes. The bacteria and fluids in the tubes then get stuck and an infection develops.
As your child grows, the throat will widen and the adenoids will no longer block the eustachian tubes.
When your child develops an ear infection, make sure they drink plenty of fluids. As you swallow, the adenoids shift a bit and allow eustachian tube fluids to drain successfully.
Also, the adenoids themselves should be inspected often for signs of swelling and infection. The glands may need to be removed, along with the tonsils and this should reduce some of your child's infection problems.
If you are concerned, contact a practice like Better Family Care.