Ear infections are among the common illnesses experienced by us at some point in our lives. They can often give the feeling of discomfort and pain. Ear infections can be encountered by both children and adults causing a disturbance in the regular schedules. They are usually diagnosed as viral or bacterial infections. Treatment for ear infection entirely depends on its type and its severity. According to a survey, it is found that around 75 percent of children often experience ear infections before they are three years old.
Ear infections are also referred to as middle ear infections, serous otitis media, secretory otitis media, and glue ear. They are correctly understood and their common happening implies that proper research is often performed. In this blog, you will find a clear discussion of their symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options available. However, kindly understand that the information is completely research-based and doesn’t intervene with the consultation of a doctor. You can book your appointment with Rukmani Birla Hospital in Jaipur, one of the best multispeciality hospitals offering exceptional patient care.
An ear infection is a contagion caused by a bacteria or virus in the middle ear. The infection leads to inflammation and fluid accumulation within the ear's internal spaces. The middle ear is a space filled with air located behind the eardrum. It has vibrating bones that transform the sound from outside of the ear into significant brain signals.
Ear infections are usually painful and distressing as the extra fluid accumulation and inflammation enhance the eardrum pressure. They can be both chronic and acute, however, a chronic type can be a matter of concern as it can harm the middle ear permanently.
There are categories of ear infections that are also referred to as types. Hence, here are the types of infection:
Ear infection symptoms in both adults and children are different. They usually occur after a cold. Here are some of the symptoms experienced by adults:
It is recommended not to place anything in the ear canal if there is drainage. Any item or thing touching the eardrum might lead to more harm.
As children or infants cannot share their ear infection symptoms, it is vital to identify the signs. A child who has an ear infection might experience the following symptoms:
Usually, ear infections start with an allergic reaction, flu, or cold. It increases sinus mucus and causes fluid clearance by the eustachian tubes. The primary disease leads to nasal passages inflammation, throat, and eustachian tubes. Here is why ear infections are caused:
Ear infection diagnosis is a simple process when compared to any other illness. Sometimes, diagnoses are confirmed based on the symptoms alone. The doctor will involve using an otoscope, an instrument that helps in detecting a fluid behind the eardrum.
A doctor might also involve using a pneumatic otoscope as it will help in testing for infection. The instrument also detects for blocked by puff-releasing air into the ear. Fluid buildup leads to the moving of the eardrum less than usual. Other tests will be used for confirming the diagnosis of middle ear infection. Here are these tests:
Usually, most ear infections resolve on their own and don’t require antibiotic treatment. However, certain factors determine when there is a need for ear infection treatment. Here are some of the options available:
Since ear infections in children are more common than in adults, it would be wrong to misinterpret that they cannot occur. If you feel that you might be suffering from an ear infection, make sure to get in touch with a doctor. If an ear infection is left untreated for a long time, it can cause permanent hearing loss and the infection can also spread to the different parts of the head. With prompt and proper treatment, this risk can be eradicated to a great extent.
Ear infections can be cured with a wait-and-see approach, pain management with medications, antibiotic therapy, and ear tubes specifically in children.
To prevent ear infections in babies, it is recommended that they should get vaccinations before they are two years of age.
Yes, it is common that headache is experienced when an individual suffers from an ear infection.