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Ear Infection, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

An ear infection occurs due to a fungal or bacterial infection. The human ear is divided into three different parts outer, middle, and inner ear.

There are also different types of ear infections, depends on the parts where you have the infection.

Children are most likely to get affected by ear infections than adults. Most of the time, a minor ear infection goes away of its own.

Still, if it stays longer than expected, doctors prescribe anti-bacterial medications that work as pain relievers or fight against these fungal/bacterial infections.

What Is a Middle Ear Infection?

A middle ear infection is also called acute ear infection or acute otitis media.

It is the most severe infection where fluid buildup behind the eardrum causes severe ear pain or a feeling of fullness in-ear.

Middle Ear Infection

Children with ear infections are most likely to get infected by a middle ear infection. Mostly respiratory infection or common cold leads to a middle ear infection.

In most critical cases where your eardrum ruptured, that might cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Common Types of Ear Infections

There are three types of ear infections outer, inner, or middle ear infection.

It does not matter which type of infection you are facing; the most common symptom among all these infections is Ear pain.

An outer or middle ear infection is the most common or viral infection among these three.

A middle ear infection is further divided into three types, chronic infection, chronic otitis media, otitis media, and acute otitis media.

What Are the Symptoms of an Ear Infection?

The most common symptoms of ear infection are :

  • Pain or redness in the ear
  • The feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Mild hearing loss
  • Fever
  • Fluid discharge from the ear
  • Fluid buildup in the ear
  • Trouble hearing
  • The feeling of pressure inside the ear
  • Sore throat, because sometimes sore throat or high fiver, are also the symptoms of risk of ear infections
  • Dizziness or itching
Symptoms of an Ear Infection

Mostly, the minor ear infection goes away on its own, but if it does not go ways or you have frequent ear infections.

You must be concerned with your family doctor for antibiotic treatment/medical treatment.

What Causes an Ear Infection?

There are many factors for ear infections, trapped fluid behind the eardrum, infection due to the softness of the ear canal.

All these things are caused due to bacterial infection in the ear. Primarily children under age 10 have a high risk of infection than adult infections.

And if no proper treatment of ear infections is done, they end up the temporary hearing loss, or sometimes the condition might be worst.

What Are the Harms of Fluid Buildup in Your Ears or Repeated or Ongoing Ear Infection?

The trapped fluid behind the eardrum is the ideal environment for bacteria to spread infection fast.

The trapped middle ear fluid can rupture the eardrum or cause permanent/temporary hearing loss.

Frequent ear infections or ongoing ear infections are the common signs of chronic ear infections.

In chronic ear infections, the repeated risk for ear infections is always there. Sometimes even after the drainage of fluid, a person is still infected by an ear infection

Because of the weak immune systems due to which their body cannot fight the common bacteria’s in-ear.

How is an Ear Infection Diagnosed?

The doctors diagnose an ear infection according to telltale signs of the ear. They might examine the ear using an otoscope.

If someone has extra fluid or trapped fluid in the ear, doctors use ear tubes to drain fluid.

Doctors might use a cotton swab while examining your ear or prescribe antibiotic therapy/medications in case of otitis externa or any other infection type.

How Does a Doctor Diagnose a Middle Ear Infection?

First, the doctors examine the type of middle ear infection.

After the indication of infection type, different antibiotic-resistant bacteria medications are prescribed, or the doctor might use ear tubes to drain the fluid trapped in-ear.

How is an Acute Middle Ear Infection Treated?

The acute infection treatment depends upon the severity of the infection.

Doctors might prescribe pain medications if you have pain in your ear; he uses different tools to confirm whether you have a healthy eardrum/normal eardrum or not.

After the indication of infection type, different antibiotic-resistant bacteria medications are prescribed, or the doctor might use ear tubes to drain the fluid trapped in-ear.

What Happens “If My Child Keeps Getting Ear Infections?”

Children are most likely to get infected by ear infections than adults, and the reason lies in their eustachian tubes.

Children have narrow Eustachian tubes than adults. Sometimes, due to any water activity like swimming, bathing water trapped inside.

These narrow tubes causing severe pain, sore throat, temporary hearing loss, or loss of appetite for a short period.

If your child keeps getting an ear infection, you must first examine whether it’s a middle or outer ear infection.

An outer ear infection is a common ear infection called the swimmer’s ear which most of the time recovers on its own or by using some anti-bacterial drops.

It goes away. But if you have a chronic infection (which is a middle ear infection type) or recurrent infections/respiratory tract infections, then you have to concern with your doctor.

Because loss of hearing can cause chronic infection, and this infection in children causes severe damage to their ears.

When Should a Parent Suspect an Ear Infection?

If your children have first-time infection in-ear or have a family history, the very first thing they complain about is a pain in the ear.

Suppose your children have an outer ear infection. In that case, you can see an infection in its ear canal; you can see redness in the outer ear.

Sometimes water trapped inside the ear, which causes temporary or permanent hearing loss; this type of infection is caused by acute infection.

In any of these signs of ear infections, you must concern with your doctor because you can never judge the severity of the infection.

 Parent Suspect an Ear Infection

In acute infection, water trapped behind the eardrum cause bacteria to multiply. Non-severe illnesses recover on their own.

But if the infection spreads into the inner ear or damages the eardrum or eustachian tubes, it will take 6 months-23 months of treatment.

What Can I Do To Prevent Ear Infections in Myself And My Child?

You can follow few steps to avoid the spread of infections in middle, inner or outer ear infection:-

  • Use cotton in-ear while swimming or bathing if you have a frequent infection.
  • You can use earplugs while swimming if you do not want to use cotton.
  • Do not smoke or also avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Take proper care of your allergic reaction, throat infection, or bacterial skin infection because sometimes these allergies, sore throat, or runny/stuffy nose lead to an ear infection. So use allergy medication on time.
  • Always dry your ear after any water exposure because if you have frequent infections, then little water in the ear can lead to severe damage.

Always concern about your doctor in case of any severe signs of ear infections. Take antibiotics for ear infections after

concerning ear Infection medical experts.

Can Ear Infections Be Prevented?

Yes, ear infections can be prevented if you follow the necessary precautions.

Concern with a health professional in case of any health condition or severe symptoms takes counter medicines according to the severity of the infection.

How Long Will It Take My Child to Get Better?

The non-severe illness lasts longer than 2 to 3 days, but if you have a severe ongoing infection, then the treatment for

Ear infections lasts longer than 2 to 3 months, and that’s the minimum time it would take.

Can I Travel By Air or Be In High Altitudes If I Have an Ear Infection?

The best thing you can do while you have an ear infection or are in the process of treatment for ear infections is to avoid travel by air or at a high altitude.

Because according to ear infection medical experts, these kinds of activities create negative pressure on the eardrum that could rupture the eardrum.

Can I Swim If I Have an Ear Infection?

Yes, you can swim even if you have an ear infection, but you should clean or dry your ear after getting out of the water to avoid any further infection in the ear.

But the best thing is to avoid swimming for some time while you fully recover; otherwise, with proper precautions, you can swim.

What is Acute Otitis Media?

Acute otitis media (AOM) in the middle ear infection type where water trapped behind the eardrum causing bacterial growth in there.

This type of infection causes severe pain, muffled hearing, temporary or permanent hearing loss.

When to Consult With the Doctor?

You should concern with the doctor if you have specific symptoms:-

  • Severe pain in the ear
  • high fever
  • dizziness or itching
  • fluid buildup in the ear
  • Trouble hearing
  • the feeling of pressure inside the ear
  • If you have a headache, puking, or stiff neck

Final Words about Ear Infection

An ear infection is the most common infection in children’s then adults, most of the time, it recovers on its own.

But if the condition goes worse, then you should concern with a health professional/health care provider.

Do not take any oral antibiotics without concern with the doctor. Don’t be panic; stay calm, and follow the doctor’s prescription.

In the end, we hope you learn something out of it; stay healthy, stay safe.

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