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Winter brings in high risk of ear infections

Winter brings a high risk of ear infections in both children and adults. The main cause for ear inflammations is due to the less blood in the cold, that adds to a greater risk of irritation and the trapped moisture or bacteria results in the painful condition known as otitis media.

Sensitivity in the ears are really high, when it’s exposed to cold and wind. And these middle ear infections occur mostly in the winter months.  The infections in the middle ear are caused due to the presence of virus and bacteria. The infected material blocks the Eustachian tube and starts developing behind the eardrum leading to a lot of pain and infection. This otitis media can be treated by antibiotics, but until the fluid is cleared one needs to be very careful because it would lead to hearing loss. Colds and flu should be immediately treated and if any suspicions are found in the ear, a doctor needs to be consulted immediately.  

Causes for the infection:

Middle ear infection are often caused due to a stem from a prior infection of the respiratory tract that spreads to the ears. Children are often affected as there Eustachian tube is shorter and horizontal in nature than compared to adults, leading them to get affected easily. The fluid which accumulates behind the middle ear leads to swelling of ears, causes ache and redness which is called as acute otitis media and also results in temporary hearing loss.

Symptoms of the ear infection includes:

  • Severe ear pain
  • Problems in hearing
  • Yellow, clear, or bloody discharge from the ears
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Neck stiffness
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite 

 Ear infections can be prevented by keeping ear dry and warm when outside in this cold weather. Avoiding cigarette is very important as, smoking can lead to tubes being inflamed and second-hand smoke can also have a similar effect. A healthy diet and regular exercises can help in circulation of blood, and especially in winter months when resistance to infection is lower, keeping oneself fit is very essential. Hygiene has to be paid the utmost importance as infections are very common in winter season, and washing your hands before eating, and taking showers twice a day helps in cutting down on infections.


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