Risk Factors For Middle Ear Infection in Children

Risk Factors For Acute Otitis Media (AOM) in Children

Acute Otitis Media (AOM) in Children
Acute otitis media, which occurs with symptoms such as ear pain, congestion and hearing loss in children, is one of the most common diseases in children, especially in winter. Most children get this disease several times until the age of 5. Upper respiratory tract infections, adenoid hypertrophy, tonsillar hypertrophy, allergic body, diseases and conditions that cause weakening of the immune system, anatomical disorders and genetic predispositions are among the most common causes of middle ear inflammation. The frequent occurrence of this disease in children is due to the eustachian tube being horizontal and short. Therefore, the transition of bacteria to the middle ear becomes easier. Most of the children are infected with this infection several times until the age of 5, and having otitis media more than 3 times in 6 months indicates that the disease tends to become chronic.

Risk factors that can cause an increase in the frequency of otitis media, which gradually increases in children as the air temperatures decrease, can be listed as follows:

- Irritating agents coming into contact with the child by air, such as smoking in the house

- Having a cleft palate anomaly

- Down syndrome

- Kartagener syndrome

- Having diseases in which immune ischemia is suppressed (such as AIDS)

- First middle ear inflammation in the first 6 months of life

- Having an allergy

- The child goes to day care nurseries

- Feeding with a bottle while lying down

- Having recurrent otitis media at home
having a brother

- Low socioeconomic status of the family

- Gender (boys are more prone to otitis media than girls)

- The child being fat (controversial!)

Acute Otitis Media (AOM) - middle ear infection

Middle ear infections are one of the most common diseases of the childhood age group. Considering that 85% of all children have had an acute middle ear inflammation attack at least once, the importance of the disease is understood. There are several reasons why acute otitis media is more common in children: Until the full maturation of the immune system, children in nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools frequently encounter upper respiratory tract infections, and these upper respiratory tract infections are easily moderate from the eustachian canal, which is shorter and horizontal than adults. can progress to the ear. In addition to this basic mechanism, feeding of children in the supine position (milk can easily pass into the middle ear in children who suck a bottle while lying down and can prepare the ground for the development of infection), presence of food allergies, passive smoking and chronic adenoid tissue infections are additional factors that increase the risk.

Acute Otitis Media (AOM) in Children

Measures to be taken for middle ear inflammation in children

- Elimination of passive smoking (it has been supported by many studies that middle ear inflammation occurs more easily in children with passive smoking due to smoking at home)

- Use of breast milk in the first 6 months (taking breast milk in babies is protective against otitis media)

- Avoiding feeding children in a lying position with a bottle

- 13-valent pneumococcal bacteria vaccine, one vaccine protects 3 people! (It is said that this vaccine prevents pneumococci from settling in the nasopharynx in babies, and it is said that when one person is vaccinated, 2 people are protected from the contamination thanks to breaking the contagion chain, and this is due to Prevenar's high level of antibodies in the blood.

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

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