Learn how to prevent ear infections

Adults and children can both suffer from ear infections, but they are far more common in children. In fact, ear infections are the most common reason children are brought to the doctor. The cause of ear infections is the same for both, but children’s eustachian tubes are smaller and make it more difficult for fluid to drain out of their ears, thus causing them more infections. Despite this, below is a list of things that detail how to avoid ear infections.

What Causes Ear Infections?

Ear infections are officially known as otitis media (OM) and are the inflammation of the middle ear. This is usually caused by bacteria that materializes when fluid builds up behind the eardrum, but it can also be caused by viral infections, which makes treatment more complicated because antibiotics won’t help in this instance.

Can You Prevent An Ear Infection?

Ear infections can’t be prevented outright, but there are many basic health precautions that you can take that will reduce your chances of getting an ear infection. Basically, you want to keep your ears clean, minimize your allergies as best as possible, try to avoid getting a cold or the flu and finally don’t smoke or expose yourself to second-hand smoke. Following these steps will show you how to prevent ear infections.

How To Prevent Ear Infections

Allergies can wreak havoc, especially when heading into winter, but keeping them under control can keep your ear tubes from getting swollen, anti-allergy nasal sprays, such as Flonase or Nasonex can help reduce allergies.

Proper hygiene also can help keep your ears healthy. After showering, use your finger and a tissue. You can even use a blow-dryer, while you’re drying your hair. Doctors caution you to never use a cotton swab, as It takes out about half the earwax and pushes the other half in very deep, where it is really hard to get it out. Earwax naturally comes out in the shower, and most people have no need to worry about buildup. If you would like to keep your ears clean, use an otoscope camera

Cigarette smoke is also an irritant, and smoking can lead to your tubes becoming inflamed. Secondhand smoke can have a similar effect so don’t smoke and minimize your exposure to other smokers.

How to avoid an ear infection with a cold

The more you’re sick with colds, the more likely one will turn into an ear infection. So, remember to wash your hands well, especially before touching your face or eating, and avoid sick people.

Doctors frequently recommend how to avoid an ear infection with a cold by using daily nasal irrigation with saline, to remove irritants and allergens from the nasopharynx, the back of the nose where the Eustachian tube opening is.

Along with cold prevention, you should take measures for avoiding the flu, as well. Reducing your risk of coming down with influenza means less risk of germs migrating to your ears, while you’re sick so an annual flu shot is recommended.

How to prevent ear infections in babies

Many parents might ask, “can you prevent an ear infection?” Here are seven things that you can do that show how to prevent ear infections in babies.

  • Vaccinate your child - Make sure your child is up to date on vaccinations. Studies show vaccinated children have fewer ear infections.
  • Wash your hands - Children and adults who wash their hands with soap and clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs that can cause colds and ear infections.
  • Breastfeed - Breastfeed your baby. Breast milk contains antibodies that can help protect your baby against various illnesses, including ear infections.
  • Avoid bottles in bed - Avoid bottle feeding your baby when he or she is lying down. Milk may pool in their throat and enter the Eustachian tubes, creating a medium for bacterial growth.
  • Avoid smoke exposure
  • Decrease pacifier use
  • Switch your child to a smaller daycare center

When To See A Doctor

Be sure to visit your child’s pediatrician if you’re concerned your child has an ear infection.

See your doctor if your child has:

  • A fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higher
  • Pus, discharge, or fluid coming from the ear
  • Worsening symptoms
  • Symptoms of an ear infection that last for more than 2–3 days
  • Hearing loss
Your doctor can check for an ear infection by looking inside your child’s ear and checking if there is pus in the middle ear.


Everyone would like to know how to keep from getting ear infections. Ear infections are a common ailment in children, but adults can also get them. There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting an ear infection, but they vary depending on if you are a child or an adult. Parents should make an effort to follow doctor recommended guidelines or their children will likely get an ear infection. Adults should also follow some basic health precautions and they will also help to prevent ear infections. One good way to keep your ears in good health is to keep them clean. Using a digital otoscope allows you to safely check your ears and clean them. Shop Scope Around's digital otoscopes today. 


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