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Hearing management

Updated 11 December 2017

Prevent infection of the middle ear

Infection of the middle ear is one of the most common preventable causes of deafness, and children are particularly prone to it. Here's how to prevent it.

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Infection of the middle ear is one of the most common preventable causes of deafness.

Children are particularly prone to middle-ear infection because their eustachian tubes, which ventilate the middle ear and drain off fluids that build up in the middle ear during fl u or colds, are narrow and can become blocked easily.

Bacteria and viruses move effortlessly from the nose and throat to the middle ear. Fluids that accumulate in the middle ear are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Earache occurs as a result of the infection and severe pressure on the eardrum.

Prevent infection of the middle ear by not putting your baby or toddler to bed with a bottle. Milk that runs into the ear may cause infection.

Also do not allow children who have grommets to swim or bath without wearing good plastic or silicone earplugs. If water that contains bacteria gets into their inner ear they could end up with an ear infection and possibly deafness.

(This is an extract of an article that originally appeared in the YOU Pulse / Huisgenoot-POLS magazine, Spring 2007. Buy the latest copy, on newsstand now, for more fascinating stories in the world of health and wellness.)

 

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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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