Earaches are one of the most common ailments that children face. Those who frequently get earaches as a child typically outgrow them as the mature into adulthood. Why is it that earaches generally don’t manifest in adults? To understand how earaches correspond with the development of your child’s ears, nose and throat, it is important to understand how a healthy and fully developed ear functions before you understand how ear infections affect your child’s ears.
To understand how earaches begin, we must understand the Eustachian tube. This tube is a narrow channel which connects the inside of the ear to the back of the throat, just above the soft palate. In a healthy ear, this tube allows for drainage, preventing fluid in the middle ear from building up and bursting the thin ear drum. Ideally, fluid drains down the tube, assisted by tiny hair cells, and is swallowed.