Understanding Ear Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

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What causes ear infections?

Ear infections can be caused by various factors, including bacterial or viral infections, allergies, sinus infections, and even environmental factors such as tobacco smoke or air pollution. In children, ear infections often occur due to the anatomy of their Eustachian tubes, which are shorter and more horizontal than in adults, making it easier for bacteria to travel from the nose and throat to the middle ear. Additionally, exposure to secondhand smoke, attending daycare, and bottle-feeding rather than breastfeeding can also increase the risk of ear infections in children.

Adults can also be prone to ear infections, especially if they have a weakened immune system, a history of allergies, or are frequently exposed to loud noises or changes in air pressure, such as when flying in an airplane or scuba diving.

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