Tubes for ear infections

Fluid buildup in the middle ear

Picture of fluid buildup in the middle ear
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A cold or some other upper respiratory infection can cause the eustachian tubes to swell, blocking the normal drainage from the middle ear. The fluid buildup can lower your or your child's ability to hear, and the warm, moist environment makes it easy for bacteria and viruses to grow, causing an ear infection.

Last Updated: February 2, 2009

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology

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