Summer ear infections: why are they so common in children?

Long swims in the sea or in the pool can help summer otitis media, especially in the little ones. The problem, however, is notwater in itself, however annoying elements contained therein. Salt and chlorinecauses dermatitis and by damaging the skin of the ear canal, they can facilitate the entrance of fungi and bacteria, which causes the typical ear infections in the summer period. That Professor Pasquale MarsellaHead of Audiology and Otosurgery of Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, helps us understand what it is, how we can avoid them and if necessary treat them.

OTITI SUMMER WHAT THEY ARE

That summer otitis media I am inflammation affects the most outer ear, consisting of the auricle and the external auditory canal. In the summer, when you do not have a cold and your ear is well ventilated and free of mucus, contact with water can be problematic. Salt and chlorine, in fact due to frequent bathingcan stagnate andrrite the skincreate one dermatitis of the outer ear canal. If it extends to deeper layers, it can lead to external otitis.

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Childhood and youth

WHY THEY HAPPEN

The problem is that when we bathe, we do not rinse the outer ear canal properly, as we do with the rest of the body. When the water evaporates, salt crystals or chlorine residues remain, which irritate the skin and break the stratum corneum. In this way, it is more easily favoredthe penetration of fungi and bacteria which leads to infections and consequently to bacterial or fungal external otitis. External otitis is extreme painful: dermatitis, in fact, if it gets deep, it creates perichondritisinflammation of the perichondrium, the lining membrane of the cartilage, rich in vessels and nerves.

BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE MORE SUBJECT TO SUMMER EARS

Although summer ear infections can also occur in adults, they are more common in children than theirs skin it is more delicatethat bathing more long and frequent and washes are less thorough.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINTER AND SUMMER OTITERS

That acute otitis media, also called winter otitis media, unlike the summer ones, they affectmiddle ear, it is the part between the inner ear and the eardrum. The eardrum is connected to the rhinoceros cavity, and therefore to the outside, through the eustachian tube. It is easy for this channel, especially in the winter season when it coldallows the ascent, from the nose to the middle ear, of bacteria together with mucus. It follows inflammation which gives rise to otitis media, mucus or purulent, which can even lead to perforation of the eardrum. Otitis media is also very painful as mucus or pus in the ear pushes and puts pressure on the eardrum, creating acute pain.

USEFUL TIPS TO AVOID SUMMER EARS

To avoid the onset of summer ear infections it is important rinse off gently the ear canal. To remove residues of salt and chlorine it will be enough to use fresh water, without special disinfectants, drying in the sun or with hair dryer, avoid towels or cotton buds that can cause damage. Rubbing the skin with various tools can actually create scratches and inflammation. Earplugs worn under the bath can not prevent summer ear infections, also because they are not completely waterproof: they allow water to enter, but they do not allow it to escape. It is preferred to leave the ear free.

HOW TO TREAT SUMMER OTITES

Treatment of external otitis consists of disinfectant wash of the channel, with instillation of antifungal drops if it comes to fungi or antibiotics if it comes to bacteria.

Whose dermatitisfor which one local treatmentdevelops into cellulite, ie infection of the subcutis, it is necessary to assume antibiotics by mouth.

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