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Study Suggests Genetic Link to Middle Ear Infections

Posted 7 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2016 – Researchers say they've found a potential genetic link to a child's higher risk of middle ear infections. These painful infections are the most frequent reason kids are given antibiotics, according to the researchers. They said the new discovery could lead to more effective treatments. The analysis of DNA samples from 13,000 children revealed a link between middle ear infection and a site on chromosome 6 that contains the gene FNDC1. Follow-up studies showed that the corresponding gene in mice was expressed in the middle ear. The study was published online recently in the journal Nature Communications. "Although the gene's function in humans has not been well studied, we do know that FNDC1 codes for a protein with a role in inflammation," said study leader Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Chronic Otitis Media, Perforated Tympanic Membrane

Balloon Device Approved for Eustachian Tube Problems

Posted 16 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 – A small device inflated inside the tube that helps regulate pressure inside the ear has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Aera Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System is designed to treat Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), a condition that leads to sensations of pain, pressure or clogging inside the ear. The Eustachian tube is a valve-like apparatus that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. It's normally filled with air and helps equalize pressure inside the ear with the surrounding environment, the FDA explained in a news release. When the tube doesn't function properly, it can lead to symptoms including reduced hearing, frequent ear infections and ringing in the ears. The new device is inserted through the nose into the Eustachian tube, where a small balloon is inflated and creates a path for mucus and air. The balloon ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Hearing Loss, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Chronic Otitis Media, Ear Wax Impaction

Gel Antibiotic: An Easier Ear Infection Treatment Someday?

Posted 14 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – A single application of an antibiotic gel into the ear might one day offer kids and parents an easier way to treat bacterial ear infections, new animal research suggests. So far, this experimental therapy has been tested only in chinchillas. But it did cure 100 percent of the animals' ear infections. Whether the therapy will work in children is still unknown. Middle ear infections, known as otitis media, are an extremely common problem in kids, and parents often struggle getting their children to take the medicine. "Right now, the way otitis media is treated is with a three-times-a-day, 10-day antibiotic course, and it tends to be pretty much full-contact wrestling to get kids to take the antibiotics – that is one problem we set out to address," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Kohane. He's director of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery at ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Otitis Media, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Chronic Otitis Media

Infant Ear Infections Becoming Less Common

Posted 28 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 28, 2016 – Painful ear infections remain a scourge of childhood, but fewer American babies are getting them now compared with 20 years ago, new research shows. The study didn't dig into the reasons for the decline. But experts say the credit likely goes to certain childhood vaccines, rising rates of breast-feeding and the drop in Americans' smoking rate. The new research found that 46 percent of babies followed during 2008 to 2014 had a middle ear infection by the time they were 1 year old. But while the infections were common, those rates were lower when compared against U.S. studies from the 1980s and '90s, the researchers added. Back then, around 60 percent of babies had suffered an ear infection by their first birthday, the study authors said. The decline is not surprising, according to lead researcher Dr. Tasnee Chonmaitree, a professor of pediatrics at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Chronic Otitis Media, Tympanostomy Tubes, Perforated Tympanic Membrane

Nasal Balloon Can Treat Youngsters for 'Glue Ear'

Posted 27 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 – A simple procedure using what's known as a "nasal balloon" can treat hearing loss in children with a common middle-ear problem, preventing unnecessary and ineffective treatment with antibiotics, according to a new study. Many young children develop a condition in which the middle ear fills with thick fluid – so-called "glue ear." Often, children have no symptoms and parents seek medical help only when they notice that youngsters have hearing problems. Dr. Jordan Josephson is an ear, nose and throat specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He said that kids are much more prone to glue ear because "the eustachian tube – which is the tube that connects the ear to the back of the nose – gets clogged," often during a sinus infection, allergy or even pollution-linked inflammation. Right now, treatments such as "antibiotics, antihistamines, decongestants ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Hearing Loss, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Chronic Otitis Media, Tympanostomy Tubes

Unapproved Ear Drops Targeted by FDA

Posted 1 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – The prescription drops your child is using for ear pain could be among 16 unapproved medications targeted this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These drugs, prescribed and sold for years to relieve ear pain and swelling, have not been evaluated for safety, quality and effectiveness, the agency said Wednesday. The agency notified the drugs' makers to stop marketing the drops following a few reports of local allergic reactions of the ear, eye, face, neck and mouth. The drops can also cause itching, stinging, burning and irritation of the ear, according to an FDA news release. "If we don't know whether these drugs have any benefits, we should not accept any possible risk of side effects," said the FDA's Dr. Charles Lee in the news release. The FDA did not release the names of the companies or the medications involved, but did note that "unapproved ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Maintain, Orajel, Benzocaine, Anbesol, Pramoxine, Anusol, Vagisil, Allergen, Caladryl, Lanacane, Solarcaine, Antipyrine/Benzocaine, Zilactin Toothache, Galzin, Analpram-HC, Hydrocortisone/Pramoxine, Dendracin, Caladryl Clear, Otitis Externa

Health Tip: Preventing Ear Pain During Air Travel

Posted 22 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

-- The changes in air pressure that occur during plane travel can lead to ear pain and discomfort. To help prevent these symptoms, the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery recommends: Swallow frequently during air travel, especially during takeoff and landing. Chew gum or suck on a hard candy to stimulate swallowing. Yawning should help open the Eustachian tube. Do not sleep during takeoff and landing. Pinch the nostrils closed, breathe air into the mouth and blow the air back out of the closed nostrils gently until you hear a pop in your ears. Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum

Ear Infections Common, But Often Missed, in Infants

Posted 12 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 – Although most babies will have at least one ear infection before they reach the age of 1, the infections can be hard for parents to recognize. Identifying and treating ear infections in babies is important because they can lead to other problems, according to Dr. Andrew Hotaling, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Loyola University Health System in Chicago. "Hearing disorders can lead to impediments in speech development and other growth milestones," Hotaling said in a Loyola news release. "The ear infections are usually located in the middle ear." Signs of an ear infections in babies include fever, irritability, poor sleep, and pulling or tugging at ears. "Antibiotics should only be prescribed if the ear infection cannot be cleared without them," Hotaling said. "Incorrectly administering antibiotics can cause further harm." Pediatric versions of anti-inflammatory ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Chronic Otitis Media, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum

Race, Income Affect Care for Ear Infections: Study

Posted 1 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 1 – Black and Hispanic children with frequent ear infections are less likely to have access to health care than white children, say U.S. researchers. They analyzed 1997 to 2006 data from the National Health Interview Survey and found that each year about 4.6 million children have frequent ear infections, defined as more than three infections over 12 months. Overall, 3.7 percent of children with frequent ear infections could not afford care, 5.6 percent could not afford prescriptions, and only 25.8 percent saw a specialist, said the researchers at Harvard Medical School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. When they focused on specific groups of children with frequent ear infections, the team found that: More black children (42.7 percent) and Hispanic children (34.5 percent) lived below the poverty level than white children ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Chronic Otitis Media, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum

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