01/01/2022 at 19:45 CET

We are now in winter. And during this season it is very common that we suffer from sudden changes in temperature, changing from heating to cold outside, it can affect the respiratory tract and, of course, the ears.

In fact, it is a time when vulnerability to infections such as otitis Acute mean (AOM) which affects the smallest to a greater extent.

You may be interested in: Mastoidectomy: The operation against ear infections that was already done in the Middle Ages

As stated by Dr Isabel Cardoso López, Otolaryngologist at the Head and Neck Surgery Unit of Vithas Madrid Arturo Soria and Head of the Tinnitus Unit at Vithas Internacional:

“Five in six children have at least one ear infection before the age of three. It is an infectious disease that affects the middle ear, in which germs enter the nasopharynx through the eustachian tube ”.

The specialist explains that these data of high incidence among the smallest are due, among other things, to their particular anatomy in the Eustachian tube.

“Being shorter, narrower and having a very horizontal arrangement, the entrance to the germs catarrh in the middle ear cavity is easier, ”says Dr Cardoso.

The specialist also specifies that as children grow older, these images decrease thanks, on the one hand, to the fact that their immune system and, on the other hand, to the change of the eustachian tube which helps to better protect the middle ear.

Acute otitis media is an infectious disease that affects the middle ear accessed by respiratory tract germs such as pneumococcus and haemophilus influnzeae.

It usually starts with pain in one or both ears, and it is common for it to become over-infected, in which case it will produce a build-up of pus behind the eardrum, pain, hearing loss and fever.

You may be interested in: What should I do if I am positive or in close contact? When should I repeat the antigen test?

How to avoid ear infections in toddlers

Ear infections are seasonal, so on these dates many children find themselves in consultation because of this pathology.

In this sense, Dr. Soledad Rodríguez, head of the pediatric unit of Vithas Madrid Arturo Soria, makes the following recommendations that can help to avoid them.

Avoid sudden changes in temperature as this promotes inflammation of the nasopharyngeal lining. Control colds or their symptoms. Nasal washes are a big help, although the little ones find it so uncomfortable. Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke as it is a proven risk factor for recurrent ear infections. Control and correct diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux disease which may predispose to disease Maintain good outdoor hygiene. Of course, swabs or other objects should not be inserted into the ears to clean them. To promote, as far as possible, breast-feeding as an immunological protective effect for the infant. Go to a pediatric consultation because of the persistence of catarrhal symptoms, especially in children under 3 years of age for follow-up.

In this way, we can avoid the dreaded acute otitis media and acute serous otitis.

The latter predisposes, in its recurrence, to complications related to deafness among others.

The joint management of the pediatrician and the otolaryngologist is essential for the control and follow-up of pathologies linked to the ear.