Are Ear Infections Contagious?

Simply put the answe is no. If your child or partner has an ear infection you are not going to catch an ear infection. However what you may catch is the cold, flu or viral infection that leads to an ear infection.

Every ones body responds differently and if you were to catch the same virus it may not cause you to develop an ear infection. Children are often more susceptible to getting an ear infection. This is because thier eustachian tube that goes from their middle ear to the back of the throat is not yet fully developed and is more horizontal than diagonal. Making for a much easier trasmittion of infection or blockage.

Children have also not yet developed the same immunity as adults, they actually more succeptible to more strains of cold and flu, making them more vunerable to catch viral infections.  A virus is the most common way that an ear infeciton is developed, that being said this is only one of the methods you may develop an ear infection. There are many other reasons an ear infection develops.

Allergies being one of them, certain allergies such as pollen or animal hair can also cause your eustachian tube to swell and block. This can lead to an ear infection and allergies are not contagious.  Infections caused to the outer ear by means of providing a suitable envionment for a bacterial infection to grow such as excessive water flushing or a scratch to the sensitve lining of the ear canal.

Neither of these are via a contageous means.

How To Avoid Ear Infections

To avoid the chances of developing an ear infection has a lot to do with basic hygiene. Looking after yourself and keeping your ears clean (without poking anything into your ears). Preventing yourself from catching colds and flu will also make yourself less likely to get an ear infection. Eat healthly and keeping active will help keep your body in virus fighting condition. Look to getting a flu jab to prevent catching the Flu especially if you work in areas where people are unwell.  Make washing your hands an important part of your daily routine. In public places make sure to wash your hands when using bathrooms. Washing your hands should take about twenty seconds and involves cleaning several parts of your hands thoroughly (see the image below).

handwashing technque

 

Only touch your face if you have thoroughly washed your hands first. If your loved one is suffering with a bad cold or flu, keep them rested up in bed. Keeping them in one room also prevents the spread of infection on areas hands normally touch such as door knobs, TV remote controls, kitchen equipment and telephones. Check out the NHS website on keeping healthy https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/. It is our resonbility to help prevent not only ourselves but our family and other people from the exposure of such viruses.

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