2019-10-14

Otitis media: how to recognize and treat it

Otitis media: how to recognize and treat it

Otitis is a disorder that is resolved immediately, if you intervene quickly and with the right therapy. It is therefore essential to recognise the alarm bells.

Acute otitis media

Acute otitis media is an acute inflammation with pus collection, inside the middle ear, which is the position of the organ placed after the eardrum. The middle ear encloses the bones that transfer the sound information to a spiral structure, the cochlea, and then to the nervous system, to be so processed. It is therefore an area of extreme importance for hearing.

Causes of acute otitis media

It is often caused by a bacterial infection. Since the ear is connected to the nose by the Eustachian tube, in the first years of a child's life this tube is not yet mature and has an inclination that favours the stagnation of liquids and the rising of germs contained in the nose and pharynx. The most critical age is therefore between 2 and 5 years of age. Passive smoking, environmental pollution and overweight are certainly the most common causes.

Prevention

Vaccines are definitely a good form of prevention. In fact, medical studies show that the incidence of otitis media has improved with the use of flu and pneumococcal vaccines.

As for the measures, it can be a good weapon to clean the dummy and its use not prolonged, as it can promote the passage of bacteria in the middle ear. This also applies to feeding bottles, push and pull water bottles and straws. When we talk about prevention it is also very important that the proper drainage and therefore carry out nasal washing, since a child so small is not able to blow his nose like an adult.

Suspicions and symptoms

In case of suspected acute otitis, it is advisable to take the child immediately to an otoscopic examination, as this is the only way to arrive at a correct diagnosis. Symptoms include fever, irritability, ear pain, difficulty breathing.

If not taken in time what can happen

If otitis media is neglected or not treated properly, one of the worst risks is the development of meningitis, an infection of the central nervous system.

Therapy

Antibiotic therapy is the safest. You should always consult your paediatrician and never do it yourself, it is worth the health of your child. Among the best antibiotics the first choice is amoxicillin, sometimes also associated with clavulanic acid.

Acute otitis media is different from effusive otitis media

Effused otitis media is a chronic inflammation linked to the accumulation of mucus in the middle ear. So watch out!

L.F.

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