The Medical College of Wisconsin has a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study ear infections in preschoolers.
The $1.6 million, 5-year grant will be used to study fluid buildup in the ear following an infection that can cause hearing loss. Dr. Joseph Kerschner said they'll look at the characteristics of preschoolers with hearing loss. Kerschner said researchers will also look at what happens on the molecular level with different bacterial combinations.
Antibiotics are the most common treatment for ear infections caused by bacteria. However, Kerschner told Wisconsin Public Radio News medicine doesn't always work for stubborn infections.
About 1 million ear tubes are surgically inserted in children's ears every year. The tubes allow air to get to the middle ear so fluid can drain. That fluid can prevent the eardrum from vibrating normally.