Diseases

Otitis: the causes

The causes of otitis can be many. If the patient has a cold or other nasopharyngeal infection, the microbes can go back into the middle ear by the Eustachian tube and cause an infection.

The Eustachian tube may thus be the seat of inflammation and clog more or less and prevent the secretions of the middle ear from flowing normally to the throat and also cause a bacterial infection.

Vegetations too can be implicated in ear infections. When they are too developed, they tend to block the opening of the Eustachian tubes and facilitate the occurrence of repetitive ear infections. It is not desirable to remove the vegetations too early because of their immune role.

It is not uncommon for a child to have infectious bacterial otitis following a cold. The Eustachian tube is blocked more easily by the fact that the vegetations are voluminous and acute otitis occurs with considerable pain and fever.

You have certainly noticed that your doctor always looks in the ears of your child with a cold using an otoscope (it is a small flashlight whose light is directed on a small speculum): it looks for an attack of the middle ear; indeed, if the small patient has otitis, he will see that his eardrum is curved, red. Sometimes even the tympanum has opened spontaneously under the pressure of an abscess formed in the middle ear, and it sees the rising of pus.

But the cause of an ear infection is not always infectious. This is the case of serous otitis, where inflammation in the middle ear that sometimes contains a little liquid, which hinders hearing.

Otitis externa, on the other hand, is generally due to the development of a cutaneous infection in the external ear canal. Inflammation and abscess can completely close the duct.

Sometimes the infection is due to a cleaning of the duct too untimely using small stems provided with cotton; the ducts secrete a sebum which lubricates them, avoids the drying out and the installation of an eczema which can also be the cause of an otitis externa. The baths in the sea, the wind, may still be the cause of the appearance of otitis externa in sensitive persons.

Good to know: zoom in on childhood diseases


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> 6 tips to prevent colds and flu
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