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Ear Infection Health Center

Ear Infections

Ear infections occur when a cold, throat infection, or allergy attack causes fluid to become trapped in the middle ear. Mostly affecting children, symptoms may include earaches and thick, yellow fluid coming from the ears.

Understanding Ear Infections -- the Basics

The middle ear is a small space behind the ear drum that is supposed to be well ventilated by air that normally passes up from behind the nose, through the Eustachian tube, keeping the middle ear clean and dry. When there is not enough fresh air ventilating the middle ear, such as when the Eustachian tube is clogged or blocked, the area becomes damp, stagnant, and warm, a perfect breeding ground for germs.

In children and infants, the Eustachian tube is often too soft or immature and has a harder time staying open. Allergies, post nasal drainage, sinus infections, common cold viruses and adenoid problems can all interfere with the Eustachian tube’s ability to let air pass into the middle ear.

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