Otitis media prevention
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Preventing otitis media primarily involves preventing developing nasopharyngitis. This is achieved by the pneumococcal and influenza vaccines, frequently washing hands, and avoiding fluid transmission and respiratory droplets from nasopharyngitis patients. Preventing exposure to air pollution as potential middle ear irritants, such as secondhand smoke, contributes to preventing otitis media. For infants, preventative measures include avoiding pacifiers, avoiding daycare enrollment, and breastfeeding until at least 6 months of age. A prophylactic regimen of antibiotics can prevent otitis media in at-risk infants and children. For otitis media that is chronic or recurrent, preventing recurrence of the disease involves surgery, assuming the manifestation is not self-limited. Myringotomy with tympanostomy tube is the most common surgical preventative measure.
- Preventative measures for otitis media involve preventing the development of nasopharyngitis from infectious pathogens:
- Avoiding first or secondhand smoke or other air pollutants with potential for middle ear irritation.
- Avoiding use of pacifiers in infants.
- Avoiding enrollment in daycares.
- Breastfeeding infants until at least 6 months of age.
- Administering a prophylactic antibiotic regimen for children at risk for developing otitis media:
- For chronic, recurrent cases of otitis media with suppuration or effusion, the most common preventative measure is surgery.
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