Why Do Children Get Ear Infections?
Learn the common causes for ear infections in children and how to best treat them.
-This animation shows a child's ear. The ear is usually divided into three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. This is the middle ear. The long, thin passage is called the eustachian tube. This forms an air passage between the middle ear and the back of the throat. The eustachian tube is lined with mucous membranes. Children may develop a middle ear infection usually after having had a cold for a few days. The cold causes the lining in the eustachian tube to swell up so that the air passage between the back of the throat and the middle ear is blocked. This increases the risk of infection reaching the middle ear. Fluid and pus may form, increasing pressure in the middle ear. This gives the child an earache. The eardrum will also become thickened and inflamed. If the pressure is strong enough, the eardrum may burst and pus may run out into the ear passage or out of the ear. The child will feel better because the ear is not so painful.