Chronic Ear Infection

What is Chronic Ear Infection?

Ear infections come in two varieties: infection of the middle ear and infection of the outer ear or ear canal, often called swimmer's ear. We will address middle ear infections here and discuss ear canal infections under Swimmer's Ear.

Middle ear infections, common in young children, occur behind the eardrum in the small cavity that houses the hearing bones. The eustachian tube provides a drainage port from the other side of that space down into the side of the throat. When this drainage port stops up from thick fluid, swelling from infection in the throat, or allergies, fluid builds up in the space and presses outward on the eardrum, causing pain and muffled hearing. The stagnant fluid in the middle ear makes a great place for bacteria to grow, and when they find their way up the eustachian tube and into the fluid, they usually set up an infection.
Chronic Ear Infection The body sends in infection-fighting immune cells to defend against the bacteria, and the battle that then rages between the body and the bacteria makes pus. When the pressure becomes too great, the thin eardrum can rupture to let the pus drain. Many children suffer one bout of middle ear infection after the next from about age 3 months to 3 years and seem to spend most of their early lives on antibiotic medications. What can the nutritional shelf offer these children? Let's take a look.

What helps Chronic Ear Infection?

•  Vitamin C improves resistance to infection in children and adults through its role as an antioxidant. Recommendation: Give your infant (under age 1) a multivitamin drop containing 50 mg vitamin C per day. Your toddler, age 1 to 3, can take chewable vitamin C in a dose of 100 to 250 mg per day. Children 3 to 9 can take 250 to 500 mg per day in chewable tablets of vitamin C.

• Iron deficiency has been proven to increase the risk for respiratory and ear infections. Supplementation can reduce this risk. Recommendation: Multivitamin drops containing 1 to 2 mg of iron glycinate should provide enough additional iron for most infants. Give your toddlers and children up to age 9 a chewable multivitamin supplement with added iron.

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