Can a ear infection turn meningitis?

Expert answer:

Yes, otitis can cause meningitis due to the proximity between the middle ear and the meningeal membrane, which covers the brain, spinal cord and the entire central nervous system.

Hence the importance of otitis if diagnosed and treated promptly, especially in children with up to 2 years of age, so the infection does not spread and lead to more serious conditions such as meningitis.

THE otitis media is an infection in the middle ear (behind the eardrum) caused by a bacterium and occurs most often after flu, although it is also common after contact with other children and during infectious diseases of childhood, such as measles.

The main symptoms of otitis media are:

  • Severe pain;
  • Decreased hearing;
  • Fever;
  • Agitation, irritability and easy crying (children);
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Dizziness, vertigo;
  • Ear discharge (when perforation of the eardrum occurs);
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (small children).

O treatment of otitis is made with antibiotic medicines and analgesics.

How to prevent otitis in children?

  • Breastfeeding, because breast milk provides protection against otitis and other infections;
  • At the time of breastfeeding, the baby should be kept bent and not lying down;
  • Vaccinate the child against the flu every year, from 6 months of age;
  • Do not smoke at home as cigarette smoke increases the risk of ear infection due to the damage it causes to the auditory tube and the changes it causes to the mucous membrane protecting the nose and throat.

If otitis is suspected, an otolaryngologist (adult) or pediatrician (children) should be consulted.

Read too:

What is meningitis?

How do I know if I have meningitis?