|The Middle Ear|
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Children have eustachian tubes which are smaller, more level, and straighter than those in adults.
- The eustachian tubes connect the middle ear with the back of the nose and help to stabilize air pressure within the ear.
- The difference in anatomy which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the middle ear from the nose and throat.
Children have larger adenoids than do adults.
- The adenoids are tonsil-like structures located just out of sight at the junction of the back of the nose and the upper throat. Like tonsils, adenoids tend to be much bigger in childhood than later in life.
- Ear infections may be more likely to develop when swollen adenoids block the nearby openings of the eustachian tubes.
Acute otitis media. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 17, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2015.
Ear infections in children. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/earinfections.aspx. Published March 2013. Accessed September 21, 2015.
Gates GA. Cost-effectiveness considerations in otitis media treatment. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;114(4):525-530.
Middle ear infections. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Middle-Ear-Infections.aspx. Updated August 20, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/17/2014 -