Healthy Ears: Top Tips for Preventing Ear Infections


Keeping yours and your family’s ears safe from infection is a key ingredient to overall health and, ultimately, good hearing. Preventing ear infections begins with understanding the risk factors that increase the chances of developing them. Risk factors for ear infections include exposure to cigarette smoke, allergies, and certain birth defects (such as Down syndrome). Suggestions for preventing ear infections in children include educating yourself about the common symptoms of ear infections and not smoking around your child. Anything that increases a person’s chance of developing ear infections is called an ear infection risk factor; anything that decreases a person’s chance of developing an ear infection is called an ear infection protective factor. Ear infection prevention means avoiding the risk factors and increasing the protective factors that can be controlled. While this does not guarantee someone will not develop an ear infection, it does decrease the chances. Below are some of the best ways to avoid ear infections, and although some be seem rather obvious, it’s always good to have these reminders to fall back on:

  • The biggest cause of ear infection is the common cold, so one strategy for prevention is to keep cold viruses at bay.

  • Another line of defense against ear infection in adults includes avoiding smoking.

  • Getting allergies under control can help reduce and treat ear infection in adults.

  • Avoid trying to clean the ear wax with pins and matchsticks.

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