Acute otitis media is a disease that can be caused by both viral and bacterial agents. The causative agents are directed less directly against the middle ear, but rather cause a large infection, which ultimately causes inflammatory processes within the middle ear.
A middle ear infection itself is not contagious. However, the previous cold or flu.
The risk of infection can last from a few days to over a week, in some cases even longer.
The nose and throat area is connected via the Eustachian tube with the tympanic cavity of the middle ear. Normally, the respiratory ciliated epithelium inside the Eustachian tube causes its so-called cilia to move towards the pharynx. With this cilia stroke, infectious germs are usually kept away from the tympanic cavity. If this protection mechanism fails, germs of an infection may enter the middle ear and cause otitis media. The duration of the infection risk of the underlying infection of otitis media depends on various factors.
An uncomplicated middle ear infection lasts usually one week.
As long as the germs are present, there is a risk of infection. If the germs have been killed by the body's own immune system or by antibiotics, the risk of infection is over, even if the body still has to regenerate.
Not the middle ear infection, but the causative infection is contagious to pregnant women.
Mostly it is a droplet infection that can be transmitted through air or skin contact.
Since in some cases the immune system of pregnant women is weakened, the risk of infection with the underlying infection may be greater. Since medication should be avoided if possible during pregnancy, an infection in the nose and throat area may last longer.
In addition, this entails a risk of germ transmission into the middle ear of a pregnant woman and thus the risk of middle ear infection. Therefore, as contagious situations should be avoided and the immune system should be strengthened.
Not the middle ear infection itself, but the underlying condition is more infectious for babies and toddlers than for children or adults.
Since a baby's body first needs to build up its immune system, babies are only slightly protected from germs.
In particular, against germs that are transmitted through the air or through skin contact, the immune system of the baby can hardly defend itself.
In addition, the ear trumpet, the connection between the pharynx and middle ear, in babies is still very short, so that germs can reach the middle ear quickly. About two out of three children develop at the first 3 years of age at least once, often more often, from a middle ear infection.
A baby who has middle ear infection often cries, is restless and throws his head from one side to the other, as well as holding his ears frequently. Protective measures should be taken to protect a baby from infections and middle ear infections. It is important to avoid contact with people who have colds, flu or other infections.
The germs of the underlying infection can be transmitted via kisses.
However, the risk of infection when kissing is less than, for example, when shaking hands.
This is because there are fewer pathogens in the mouth compared to those germs that are then swallowed into the stomach.
In the stomach, they hit the stomach acid. The pathogens of an infection, which has caused a middle ear infection, for example, usually do not survive this.
The risk of infection of the underlying infection of otitis media is not reversed immediately after taking an antibiotic.
Depending on the disease, the risk of infection after taking the antibiotic after the 2nd-3rd Day past.
As a rule, the antibiotic killed the bacteria after 48 hours.
The risk of infection in a patient with otitis media is over then, but the person is not yet healthy. Therefore, it is strongly advised, even with reduced or excluded risk of infection his body to allow the necessary regeneration time.
It is advised to continue to protect themselves in a middle ear infection, even if it is no longer contagious, until the person is really well again. In addition, the risk of infection depends on how the person affected reacts to the antibiotic.
Therefore, the risk of infection can be individual to a certain extent. For very immunocompromised individuals, the risk of infection may also last longer.
In order not to infect oneself, one should minimize possible situations in which germs fly in the air.
If this is not possible, care should be taken if possible that no air conditioners spread the germs in the air and rooms with many people should be ventilated frequently.
Heating air also increases the spread of germs by drying out the mucous membranes. Dry mucous membranes are more susceptible to pathogens.
Therefore, care should generally be taken to keep the mucous membranes moist by paying attention to a sufficient volume of drinking water and, if possible, to humidifying the air.
Contact with germ-susceptible surfaces or skin contact with strangers hands should be disinfected or thoroughly washed.
There is controversy about what is more effective. When in contact with humans, a distance of about 2 meters should be maintained. Researchers found that a sneeze can fly 12 meters. However, this distance is difficult to maintain in some situations.
In addition, the overall immune system should be strengthened by adequate intake of vitamins and nutrients and exercise (at best in nature). In order to prevent infection of others, one should keep his germs as far as possible. If possible, you should avoid even "infected" close contact with others, shaking hands and the like.
If you have to sneeze, it is recommended to sneeze into the crook of the arm rather than into the hand, as the germs are transmitted directly or indirectly via the hands (for example via door handles).