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Why do kids get so many ear infections?

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Ear infections happen when viruses or bacteria collect in the middle ear, the space right behind the eardrum. Children get more ear infections than adults because their bodies are still developing.

In kids, the parts of the ear that drain fluid, the Eustachian tubes, are smaller and almost level to the ground. That means they don't drain as well even when a young one is healthy.

When the Eustachian tubes swell or fill with mucus, perhaps during a cold, it's even worse. It creates just the right conditions for bacteria to thrive, which can lead to infection. And for some kids, it just happens more often.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 01, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 01, 2018

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How are ear infections in children treated?

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