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    Ear Infections - Cause

    Middle ear infections are caused by bacteria and viruses.

    Swelling from an upper respiratory infection or allergy can block the eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ears to the throat. So air can't reach the middle ear. This creates a vacuum and suction, which pulls fluid and germs from the nose and throat into the middle ear. The swollen tube prevents this fluid from draining. The fluid is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria or viruses to grow into an ear infection.

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    Understanding Ear Infection -- Prevention

    Because bottle-fed babies are more likely to get ear infections, it is better to breast feed your infant for the first six to 12 months of life, if possible, to prevent ear infections. Remove as many environmental pollutants from your home as you can, including: Dust Cleaning fluid and solvents Tobacco smoke Also, reduce yours or your child's exposure to people with colds, and control allergies. Taking steps to prevent colds and flu as well as other illnesses can prevent some,...

    Read the Understanding Ear Infection -- Prevention article > >

    Inflammation and fluid buildup can occur without infection and cause a feeling of stuffiness in the ears. This is known as otitis media with effusion.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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