Push-and-Pull Caps Linked to Kids’ Ear Infections?

Posted in: Hearing News,New Articles  |  September 3, 2013 
Push-and-Pull Caps Linked to Kids’ Ear Infections?

Does your little one deal with chronic ear infections? Then it could seem strange, but you might want to look at the kind of bottles from which they drink.

A recent study found that kids who regularly drink from push-and-pull caps (the plastic sliding toppers used on some water bottles and flavored drinks) seemed more likely to come down with recurring ear infections. Recurring was defined as three infections within the past six months, or four within the past year.

Seem bizarre? Actually, scientists have already found an association between pacifier use and ear infections. According to researchers, that might be because sucking on a pacifier causes negative pressure that (through a series of events) could change the pressure in the middle ear and ultimately lead to secretions and infections.

More research is needed on the push-and-pull cap front, and it’s important to note that the study specifically focused on children who “habitually” drank from the caps. (In this study, “habitual” meant every day).

Besides pacifiers and certain caps, here are a few other things to consider if your child is getting frequent ear infections:

  • Bacteria and viruses. Bacterial infections cause most ear infections, but viruses can sometimes be the cause. Your doctor can help pinpoint the culprit, and then determine a course of action.
  • Fluid buildup. When air can’t reach the ear (because of allergies blocking the Eustachian tube or swelling from an upper respiratory infection), the middle ear is left with a vacuum situation. Germs and fluid from the throat and nose are pulled into the middle ear, and swelling stops fluid from draining. The result is an infection, and your doctor can help your child by offering the appropriate treatment.

And according to our own Dr. Robert Pincus:

pacifier“Studies show that children who drink from bottles while lying down also have increased rates of middle ear infections.”

No matter the cause of your child’s ear infection, there are a variety of ear treatments available to offer relief. It’s important to deal with ear infections right away, so give us a call when we can help.