Unfortunately, children are prone to ear infections and many other types of illnesses as well. Ear infections are practically ubiquitous in children, especially infants and toddlers. While ear aches often decline with age, they remain very common until around 8 years of age.
Teenagers and adults too can still get ear aches, of course. Thankfully, however, they are less common. So why are small children most likely to suffer ear infections? As we'll see, there are two principal reasons: their immune systems lack experience fighting the bugs that cause ear infections and the structure of their ears makes them prone to aches.
If your child is struggling with an ear infection, contact 7 Days Pediatrics, with locations in Edison and South Plainfield, NJ, and serving Woodbridge, Fords, and Perth Amboy, NJ.
Children’s Immune Systems Aren’t as Strong and Experienced as an Adults
Kids, particularly small children, are often more prone to various colds and infections. This is due, in part, to the fact that a child’s immune system typically isn’t as experienced as an adult’s. As an immune system gains experience fighting off pathogens, it can use lessons learned to fight harmful microbes. The colds that children often get can strengthen their immune system over time.
An adult immune system will typically have encountered more pathogens and will have more experience fighting a wide variety of bad microbes. The microbes that cause ear aches typically aren’t all that novel and most people have or will be exposed to them at some point. If an immune system has encountered these microbes before, it can often use previous experience, including already developed antibodies, to fight them.
Ear infections are often caused by bacteria, including Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. Viruses, including those viruses that cause the common cold, can also cause ear infections.
If your child is struggling with any colds, including an ear infection, schedule an appointment with 7 Days Pediatrics, with locations in Edison and South Plainfield, NJ, and serving Woodbridge, Fords, and Perth Amboy, NJ.
Differences in Ear Structures Make Infections More Likely
Children also have smaller eustachian tubes and these tubes are often more horizontal in structure. Thus inflammation and infections can quickly spin out of control and cause an ear ache. In adults, improved fluid drainage makes it less likely that the ears will become inflamed enough to cause an ear ache.
Often, ear aches will clear up on their own. However, in worst-case scenarios, they can cause permanent damage. Further, the aches will cause a lot of discomfort.
If your child is suffering from an ear infection, contact 7 Days Pediatrics, with locations in Edison and South Plainfield, NJ, and serving Woodbridge, Fords, and Perth Amboy, NJ. Call (732) 548-3210 to schedule an appointment.