Do viral ear infections affect children differently than adults?

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Symptoms and treatments are much the same, but surgery to insert ventilating tubes is a far more common treatment for children. Also, rates of viral ear infections are drastically higher for children than for adults. This is due in large part to a difference in the physical shape of the Eustachian tubes, a part of the middle ear. Older children and adults have Eustachian tubes that are firmer and wider, and positioned in a way that makes drainage of fluids from the ear easier. Younger children and infants, on the other hand, have Eustachian tubes that are more prone to becoming blocked and backed up.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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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.