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Do bacterial ear infections run in families?

Bacterial ear infections of the ear canal (known as swimmer's ear) happen when the ear canal is too moist or when a scratch in the canal becomes infected by bacteria. These are all environmental causes and do not relate to your family history. Bacterial ear infections of the middle ear, however, are different. Even though environmental factors also play a large part in the development of a middle ear infection, research has indicated that if a family member suffered from frequent ear infections, your own risk of getting ear infections is increased.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.