It's in the Genes: Some Kids Are Just More Susceptible to Ear Infections
WebMD News Archive
Roland Eavey, MD, of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, tells
WebMD that the environmental component in ear infections -- that is, kids
passing the infection on to others in day care -- is to be expected. But the
hereditary factor is a bit more uncertain, he says.
"Because ear infections account for 25 million medical clinic visits a
year, there is value in looking at this disorder," according to Eavey.
Eavey says that beyond families with twins, the study suggests that there
can be tendencies within families for the same pattern of ear infections. One
could imply that children should be checked more frequently for early signs of
infection and more ambitiously treated with medications and ear tubes, he tells
The study broadens the definition of what constitutes genetic disease,
researchers say, and will compel scientists and physicians to look at
infectious diseases in a new light.
- A new study shows that there may be a genetic component to inner ear
infections that predisposes some children to the illness.
- Inner ear infections are responsible for more antibiotic administration and
surgery than any other childhood ailment.
- If physicians could identify which children are at higher risk, preventive
measures could be taken to avoid complications from the infection.