Ear Infections at ENTACC
Ear infections are painful infections of the middle or outer ear. When left untreated, they can become severe and cause immense pain. They can even be recurring, otherwise known as chronic. Therefore, if you are suffering from an ear infection, it is essential to seek medical attention early to avoid severe infection.
Ear infection causes
The root cause of most middle ear infections (also called otitis media) is the blockage of the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube is a tube that connects the ear to the nostrils that allow fluids to drain out of the ear. Sometimes this tube swells up due to illness, allergies, or another reason. When it swells, the fluid can’t drain, and bacteria or viruses get trapped in the ear, resulting in an infection of the middle ear.
Sometimes, the infection may seem as if it has cleared up; however, it may not have healed entirely, and another infection can occur. When this happens repeatedly, it is considered chronic. Chronic infections happen to children more often because their eustachian tubes are smaller and more horizontal. The size and shape of the tube cause it to swell. This leads to an increased rate of infection.
Symptoms of an ear infection
It can be relatively easy to spot when you or your child has an ear infection. However, it may be a little more difficult to notice it in infants. Symptoms to look for in adults and children are:
- Ear pain
- Ear pressure
- Fluid buildup or drainage out of the ear
- A low fever
- Slight hearing loss
Ear infections can be more challenging to spot in infants but a few things to look out for include:
- Increased fussiness
- Increased crying
- Refusal to eat
- Trouble falling asleep
- Pulling on the ear
If you are noticing any of these symptoms in you or your child, you should schedule with ENTACC to catch the infection before it gets worse.
How are ear infections treated?
Treating an ear infection is usually a simple process that starts at home. When you begin experiencing an ear infection, there are a few things that you can do to help ease symptoms. Including:
- Placing a warm washcloth on the ear
- Using ear drops
- Using over the counter pain relievers
If the ear infection persists or becomes chronic, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Take the antibiotics until they are entirely gone, even if the infection seems like it has healed. If the infection hasn’t healed completely, it can become worse.
Another thing that your doctor may suggest if your child suffers from chronic ear infections is ear tubes. Ear tubes allow for the fluid to drain so that the occurrence of infections will decrease. In most cases, tubes will fall out on their own, but a simple procedure may be needed if they don’t.
Complications may occur when your ear infection is left untreated.
When left untreated, any infection can cause severe complications. When ear infections are left untreated, they can cause extreme pain and other complications, including:
- Hearing loss
- Bone damage
- Balance issues
Get ear infection treatment at ENTACC
If you are suffering from any ENT issues, ENTACC is knowledgeable and equipped to treat you. We can diagnose and develop a treatment plan that will get you feeling better in no time.