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Otitis – ear pain in children

Of course the pain of otitis is probably the strongest ever experienced for a child in good health and sometimes otitis can lead to complications such as the eardrum hole (which heals spontaneously after a few days) and even mastoid, an infection that can sometimes only resolve after a minor surgical operation.

What is otitis and why does it mainly affect children?

Younger children have a narrower, shorter, more angular Eustachian tube (the tube that connects the back of the nose to the ear) than adults, so it is easier for viruses or bacteria to be present in the throat. or on the back of the nose, due to a flu or virus, can stick up reaching the “middle ear”.

The middle ear is a small space the size of a grain of pear, which is separated from the external environment by the tympanic membrane or ear drum (which vibrates and transmits information to the brain through three small bones, the hammer, the anvil and yzengjia). Once they reach the middle ear, bacteria multiply causing the production of pus, which fills the space and pushes over the eardrum, causing severe pain and if the otitis is particularly severe or not treated immediately, it can create a perforation of small on drum.

Only a pediatrician or ENT specialist can diagnose an ear infection with certainty, because through an otoscope or microscope (an instrument equipped with light and the right magnification to inspect the eardrum) they can see the eardrum. If it is seen red and inflamed, or even pierced, a cure with antibiotics is usually prescribed for about 7-10 days, enabling the elimination of bacteria and the cure of otitis.

However some specialists, since 20% of ear infections are caused by viruses and not by bacteria (and against viruses antibiotics are useless), prefer to wait for 48 hours, caring for the baby only with painkillers (usually paracetamol) and only if the infection does not go away, then prescribe antibiotics, the effect of which is very important.

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