Is there any way to prevent inner ear inflammation?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 29, 2016
Sandrakg asked...

I have ottitis media and wonder if there is any way to prevent it returning. Each time I get a cold I have blocked ears but unfortunately this time I got the ear ache as well. I am taking antibiotics but wondered if there was a preventative. Thanks for the help. Sandra

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

When you get a cold, virus, or sinus infection, bacteria from the nose gets into the eustachian tube, which is the tube that connects the nose to the ear. The inner ear contains fluid, which can easily get infected or inflammed, which will result in an ear infection.

To prevent of ear infections, or "blocked ears", my best advice would be to see an ENT doctor to find out exactly why this keeps happening to you. You may have allergies, which can cause chronic inflammation, therefore leading to otitis. Or, thick mucus from your sinuses can block the eustachian tube, leading to otitis. You could have an obstruction of the eustachian tube from swollen tonsils or adenoids (glands in the throat), which can also cause chronic ear infections. I think you need to be thoroughly examined to figure out what is causing this to happen to you. Good luck!