Ear Infections | Causes & Risk Factors

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Children may be at higher risk for ear infections if they:

  • Are around people who smoke.
  • Have had previous ear infections.
  • Have a family history of ear infections.
  • Attend day care (because they are exposed to more germs and viruses).
  • Were born prematurely or with a low birth weight.
  • Have frequent colds or other infections.
  • Are bottle-fed rather than breast-fed (only a factor in first few months).
  • Take a bottle to bed.
  • Use a pacifier.
  • Are male (boys tend to get more ear infections than girls).
  • Have nasal speech (caused by large adenoids that block the eustachian tube).
  • Have allergies with nasal congestion.

Bibliography

See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/16
Created: 01/99

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