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Common Ear Problems in Children

Young children are more prone to get ear problems like middle ear infections, ear wax, glue ear etc. Here is a list of common problems your child may have:

Excess wax in ear

The skin of the outer ear makes wax that helps protect the ear. This wax generally comes out by itself and only your child’s outer ear has to be cleaned. Rarely, excess wax gets collected in the outer ear and may require to be removed.


Some activities like swimming can cause infection in the outer ear causing tenderness, itchiness or discharge from the ear. It can be treated by your family doctor who will inspect the ear canal and give ear drops. If the infection is not cured, consult an ENT specialist.


Your child can push anything into the ear, like a bead .Don’t try to remove it yourself, Consult an ENT doctor to remove it.

Middle ear infections

Middle ear infections usually occur due to bacteria or viruses and can be triggered by a cold. Young children are more likely to get middle ear infections because they are still building up their immunity. Once your child reaches the age of about six, infections occur less frequently because the tube connecting the nose to the ear is mature by then.

Glue ear

During middle ear infection, the lining of the middle ear secretes more fluid, which can be thin or thick as glue. If the fluid does not go away in 3 months, the condition is known as ‘glue ear’. Your child hears inadequately through this fluid and may have difficulty hearing .However, if your child doesn’t have problem in hearing and speech, your doctor may examine your child to see that the fluid has disappeared naturally. If not, consult an ENT specialist immediately as children should not be left for a long period with untreated glue ear. Hearing loss can affect your child's speech development, understanding of language etc.


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