No matter how conscientious parents are, babies are likely to come down with colds during their first year, and colds often lead to ear infections .

Otitis media occurs when a cold infection causes swelling of the baby's Eustachian tube, causing blockage that allows fluid or mucus to collect in the middle ear . This may then become infected with bacteria. Otitis media is particularly common in babies because their immune systems are immature and their Eustachian tubes may not effectively drain fluid from the middle ear.

Acute otitis media often causes pain , fever and a bulging red eardrum. Otitis media with effusion (OME) occurs when the middle ear does not drain properly and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. A child may not experience pain with OME. Both types of otitis media sometimes clear up without treatment.

The most acute symptoms should subside within 24 to 48 hours, and during this time pain can be relieved with age-appropriate paracetamol or ibuprofen and warm compresses. Doctors are now less likely to prescribe antibiotics for milder infections as there is no evidence that antibiotics speed up recovery or lessen the risk of complications. In addition, there is concern about bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics.

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Posted by 2018 article

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