Q:

Can cold weather cause an ear infection?

A:

Quick Answer

Contrary to popular belief, exposure to cold weather does not directly cause ear infection, though it can make the condition worse, according to the McKinley Health Center. The most common cause of ear infection is bacteria that originates from the throat.

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An ear infection often accompanies the common cold and other respiratory infections because of the close connection between the middle ear and upper respiratory tract, states WebMD. A small channel called the Eustachian tube allows germs originating in the nose or sinuses to reach the middle ear and cause an infection. The middle ear, which is a hallow space behind the ear drum, requires good ventilation to remain clean and dry. A clogged Eustachian tube, such as from postnasal drainage, can hinder proper ventilation and make the area damp and warm, facilitating the growth of bacteria.

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