Can acute otitis media be prevented?

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Otitis media can be prevented with routine childhood vaccination against pneumococci) with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), H influenza type B, and influenza vaccines. Infants should not sleep with a bottle to prevent milk or other liquids from pooling in to the ear canals. Also elimination of second hand smoke may decrease the incidence of otitis media.

Acute otitis media can be prevented in both children and adults by following a few tips.

  • Breastfeeding is a good way to pass antibodies that guard against ear infections to your baby.
  • If you bottle feed, make sure the baby is fed sitting up. Babies who drink from bottles when they are laying flat on their backs are more prone to otitis media.
  • Reduce your child's contact with sick children.
  • Ask your doctor about the vaccine Prevnar, which might reduce ear-infection risk.
  • Try to keep a smoke-free home and stay away from areas where the air is polluted.
  • Adults can use decongestants and allergy medications to help prevent middle ear infections.

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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.