Why do people get ear infections

ear infections

Most children experience an ear infection before they reach the age of 2. These infections usually cause fever and ear pain. While extremely common amongst children, most parents do not understand the reason behind an ear infection and are thus not able to prevent these in time.

The ear is divided into three parts- the inner, middle and outer ear. When the outer ear is infected with germs, it results in a condition called swimmer’s ear. A middle ear infection occurs when the germs are able to get into the middle ear. Or the passage between middle ear and the throat called the Eustachian tube. Essentially a small pocket of air behind the air drums, the Eustachian tubes keep air moving in and out of your ear and thus help prevent the buildup of pressure in the ear.

When one has an allergy or cold, these tubes get blocked and germs are able to get to the middle ear. However, thanks to the body’s internal defense mechanisms, this pocket of air is slowly filled by pus which contains plenty of germ fighting cells. As the battle between these germ fighting cells and the germs invading the middle ear rages, the pus may build up even more causing the air chamber to feel like a balloon filled with liquid and results in pain.

More often than not, an ear infection is caused when one contracts germs through someone else. At times, an ear infection is borne out of allergies when one gets a fever. Since their body is busy fighting the allergy, germs are able to enter the middle ear and cause an infection.

Even though infections caused from swimming in community pools or bathing in unclean water rarely reach the middle ear, they may cause a middle ear infection if the person