is Otitis Media?
Media is an infection or inflammation of the middle ear. This
condition occurs when the Eustachian tube becomes inflamed following
a cold, sinus or throat infection, allergic reaction, or is blocked
by enlarged adenoid tissue. Fluid accumulates in the middle ear
and may become infected.
are the primary causes of otitis media and are detected in 70%
of cases. Viruses are not usually a direct cause of otitis media,
cause inflammation in the nasal passages and impair defense systems,
such as cilia, in the ear. Although this condition occurs most
often in children one to three years of age, older children and
adults may develop it as well.
Why is Otitis Media so common in children?
are various reasons why children are more likely to suffer from
Otitis Media than adults.
children have more trouble fighting infections because their
immune systems are still developing.
eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal in a child than
in adults. A blocked Eustachian tube, either due to swelling
of its lining or plugged with mucus, cannot open properly to
ventilate the middle ear. This in turn impedes the drainage
of fluid from the middle ear tissue, which collects in the middle
ear. Also, the angle of the Eustachian tube in children makes
it easier for bacteria from the nose and throat to enter the
adenoids represent another factor that makes children more susceptible
to Otitis Media. Adenoids are positioned in the back of the
upper part of the throat near the Eustachian tubes. When enlarged,
they can interfere with the Eustachian tube opening. In addition,
adenoids may themselves get infected, thereby spreading infection
into the Eustachian tubes.
updated on 23-02-2001