Are some children more likely to develop Otitis Media?

We know some important risk factors, but not all the reasons why some children develop otitis media.

The most important risks include:

  • A family history of Otitis Media
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke ("passive smoking")
  • Exposure to other children in child care/creche/pre-school
  • An older sibling in childcare/creches/pre-school/early primary school

There is no clear evidence, supporting allergy as a causal factor in the development of otitis media.

There is some limited evidence linking bottle-feeding to early development of acute otitis media. This may be because of the immune protective effect of antibodies passed through breast milk.