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can adults catch ear infections from their kids?

my ears feel very slighty irritated - might be because i'm coming down with a cold and i'm sinusy. but i wonder if my son could have an ear infection and I got it from him?

he hasn't necessarily shown symptoms of having one, but just curious. he's teething and has a runny nose. he's not acting irritable and doesn't have a fever. He pokes his ear w/ his finger ones in a while, but i dont get the feeling he's doing it because of any pain, just for fun...

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:44 AM on Mar. 27, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (3)
  • Ear infections are casued by a germ (cold type virus), while you can't catch the actual ear infection, you can catch the germ/virus that leads to it. I'm not a doctor, but i've been working with children for the past 20 years, have my own children, and used to work in a i've had a lot of knowledge gained on childhood illness'. Personally, i'm suseptable to ear infections, and when i used to work in daycare settings i was sick almost every month with them. But then i become a stay at home mom years ago, and have not had one ear infection since. Hand washing is the best way to not spread the germs:)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:03 AM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • First, one of your eustachian tubes has to swell shut or become clogged somehow. These are the little tubes that go from your middle ear to your throat. What can clog them? Allergies or a cold are the most common culprits. As the PP says, some people are more prone to this problem than others and handwashing can help prevent the spread of colds.

    Next, you have to develop a bacterial infection in your clogged ear. You don't have to catch the same bacteria as your son - you have plenty of colonies of bacteria on and in you (we all do). Any one of them could set up shop in that mosit, warm, clogged ear.

    If you do end up on antibiotics, be sure to take it exactly as prescribed and for as long as prescribed. Don't skip doses or do the "I feel better, I'll save the rest for another time" lame brained idea. Those type of uneducated things are one of the causes of bugs like MRSA.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:53 AM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • No, ear infections are NOT contagious. ear infections are caused by fluid build up in the ear cannals. This in turn allows bacteria to grow. Typically a cold virus will cause an increase in mucus/fuild build up in the sinus cavities and slow the drainage of fluid from the ears. This is why ear infections typcially follow a cold. But no, the bateria in the ear is not contagious.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:17 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

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