Myths and Truths about Ear Infections and Earaches

1) “All ear pain is due to an ear infection.“ ⚠️ Alert⚠️ This is false! 

Ear pain and discomfort can be caused by a number of things other than an ear infection. Have you ever traveled on a plane before & felt that cringeworthy popping in your ear? This is due to the pressure on the eardrum from air pressure changes (and the air pressure within the middle ear and the environment are not in sync), not a sudden midair ear infection. 

 

2) “Ear infections can cause balance problems.” True! 
Sometimes ear infections can cause balance disturbances. Even if your child is too young to talk, you can identify this by observing something unusual. For instance, a possible sign of balance problems is your child suddenly becomes clumsy and falls more often. 

 

3) Any time there is fluid in the ear, this indicates infection.” False again!

Sometimes, it is possible for there to be fluid in the ear without an infection. However, if the fluid remains it is very likely to lead to infection. As discussed in our Wide Awake With An Earache? blog, fluid creates an ideal environment for the proliferation of microbes. 

 

4) “You can help prevent ear infections.”  True!

In our “Wide Awake With An Earache” blog, we share some tips and tricks for avoiding infection. For example, avoiding illnesses that can lead to an ear infection can help prevent an ear infection from occurring in the first place. In addition, breastfeeding can help protect your child from susceptibility to ear infections. 

 

5) “Ear infections are less common in adults.”  True! 

This is because adults have a eustachian tube that is fully developed and more vertical. Due to this, adults are less susceptible to fluid accumulation  and are at a decreased risk of ear infection. In addition, adults have a more developed immune system to help ward off infection.

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