Ear infections are less common in children than adults. However, adults are more susceptible to these infections. Infections ear in childhood usually heal quickly. However, adult ear infections are usually more serious.
If you are an adult who suspects an ear infection, you should pay attention to the symptoms and see your doctor immediately.
Ear infections can occur in the inner, middle or external part of the ear.
Inner Ear Infection
The condition diagnosed as an inner ear infection may actually be a case of inflammation. It may not be a true infection.
In such cases, if we list the symptoms that may be encountered in addition to ear pain:
- Include vomiting
Since inner ear infection can be a harbinger of a more serious condition such as meningitis, it is necessary to see a doctor immediately.
Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infection is also known as otitis media. It is a condition caused by fluid behind the eardrum. This fluid causes swelling of the eardrum.
You may experience the following symptoms.
- You may feel fullness in your ears with earache.
- There may be some fluid discharge from the affected ear.
- Otitis media can cause fever.
- You may have hearing trouble until the infection finish.
External Ear Infection
The external ear is the part of your ear that extends from the eardrum to the outside of your head. External ear infection is also known as otis externa. External ear infection can often start with an itchy rash.
- Feeling of pain,
- Swelling may be seen.
Causes of Ear Infection
Ear infections are usually caused by bacterial infections. However, whether the inflammation is in the external ear or the middle ear can vary depending on how you become infected.
Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infection can often be caused by a cold or another respiratory problem. The infection passes through the eustachian tubes into one or both ears. These tubes regulate the air pressure inside your ear. They are attached to the back of the nose and throat, and to the nasal area.
External Ear Infection
External ear infection is sometimes called swimmer’s ear. This is because it starts as a result of water remaining in your ear after swimming or bathing. Humidity provides a suitable breeding environment for bacteria. A bacterial infection may occur if your external ear is scratched or if you put your fingers or other objects on your ear and irritate the external surface of the ear.
Ear Infection Risk Factors
One of the reasons children are more likely to get an ear infection than adults is that most eustachian tubes are smaller and more horizontal than tubes in adults. You have a higher risk of developing an ear infection if you have small eustachian tubes or tubes that have not developed further curvature, or in conditions that change ear pressure, such as nasal congestion.
Also, if you smoke or are exposed to too much passive smoking, you may be more likely to get an ear infection. Having seasonal allergies or year-round allergies can also put you at risk. Developing a cold or upper respiratory tract infection are also factors that increase your risk.
Seeing a doctor
If your symptom is only earache, you may want to wait a day or two before seeing a doctor. Sometimes ear infections resolve spontaneously in a few days. If the pain does not improve and you have a fever, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. If fluid is leaking from your ear or if you have hearing trouble, you should immediately pay medical attention.
During your examination, your doctor will take your medical history and listen to your symptoms. Also, your doctor uses an otoscope to get a detailed look at your external ear and eardrum. The otoscope is a lightweight, portable, magnifying-lensed piece of equipment that your doctor uses to check the health of your ear.
A pneumatic otoscope can emit some air in the ear. The way the eardrum reacts when air pressure is applied to your eardrum is an helpful criterion in diagnosing the problem. If the eardrum moves easily, there may be no otitis media, or at least it is not so serious. If the eardrum is barely moving, it is thought that there is fluid inside.
Another test used to diagnose and evaluate a possible ear infection is called tympanometry. It is used to determine the extent to which your ear is doing its job. A simple hearing test can also be done. This method is applied especially if an infection is thought to cause hearing loss.
The type of ear infection you have will determine the type of treatment you have. Antibiotics are recommended in many cases of middle and external ear infections.
Middle Ear Infection Treatment
Oral antibiotics can be used to treat middle ear infections. Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications can also be used to suppress symptoms.
If you experience prolonged cold or allergy symptoms, you may be advised by your doctor to take a decongestant, nasal steroids, or an antihistamine.
External Ear Infections Treatment
First, the external ear should be carefully cleaned. Then, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory drugs can be applied to your ear. The external auditory canal should be kept as dry as possible. Especially if fungal infections that develop in the external ear canal are not treated appropriately, It can become chronic and cause constant discomfort and agitation.
If your doctor determines that the infection is bacterial, he or she may prescribe antibiotics.
If you have a viral infection, you may need to watch out for the irritation in your ear and wait for the infection to resolve on its own. However, please consult your doctor without neglecting it, as a more specific treatment may be required depending on the type of virus involved.
With proper treatment for your ear infection, complications should be resolved. If you let an ear infection last too long without treatment, you may experience permanent hearing loss. In addition, the infection can spread to your head area.
If you suspect an ear infection, have it checked by your doctor as soon as possible
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Last Updated on 1 March 2021